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Partnering for Complete Heart Care

August 30, 2017


Toledo resident Lynn Shepard, 69, experienced chest pain for about seven to eight months. It would come and go so he didn’t think much of it — until suddenly it became more intense.

“I went to see my doctor and had an EKG," recalls Lynn. “They read the results and called an ambulance right away. I told them my wife can drive me and they insisted on calling an ambulance.”


“We arrived at UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown,” says Shirley Shepard, Lynn’s wife. “I thought they’d put in a couple of stents and he’d stay for a day or two and we would go home. The hospitalist at Marshalltown told us Lynn would need open-heart surgery and Dr. James Wright, a cardiovascular surgeon at Allen Hospital in Waterloo, could do the surgery right away.”


Allen Hospital is part of the UnityPoint Health system and has been named by Truven Analytics as one of the 50 Top Cardiovascular hospitals in the country four times. Allen and Marshalltown have partnered to provide heart patients lifesaving care at just the right time.


Open-Heart Surgery

“Allen is a good heart hospital — that’s part of why we chose to go there for Lynn’s surgery,” explains Shirley. “We arrived at Allen around 9 p.m. and Dr. Wright, was there waiting for us. He was so kind and very personable. He explained Lynn would have open-heart surgery the following day.”


“Some people have symptoms for a long time and like in Mr. Shepard’s case they get worse all of a sudden,” Dr. Wright explains. “When the symptoms become more intense that’s when the need for surgery becomes more urgent.”


Lynn Shepard had triple bypass surgery and stayed at Allen for about six days.


“His surgery went well,” says Dr. Wright. “We recommended he participate in cardiac rehabilitation following surgery, which is helping him recover and building strength and stamina.”


Back on Track 

“I am still a little sore,” explains Lynn. “I participate in cardiac rehab three days a week at Marshalltown Hospital. I am slowly getting better. The care at Allen and Marshalltown has been great.”


Lynn loves racing and spending time at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. He’s retired but in years past he worked as a security guard at the track. This year he and Shirley are enjoying the races as spectators but he hopes to get back and closer to the action next racing season working security once again.


To learn more about heart care services, visit unitypoint.org/heart or in Marshalltown go to unitypoint.org/marshalltown.

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