After Larry Stern’s friend died unexpectedly, Stern decided to take his health into his own hands.
“It scared me,” said Stern, 51, of Lake Zurich. Stern’s friend was the same age, also diabetic, and had recently passed a stress test with “flying colors.”
Stern reached out to Centegra Health System to find out what tests were available.
“They recommended CTA screening was the best way to take a look at things,” he said.
Stern took the test in November at Centegra Hospital-McHenry.
“It was a very easy procedure; non-invasive, they injected some dye, I went into a machine. It took 5 to 10 minutes, and everything was done,” Stern said.
The screening revealed a 90 percent blockage in Stern’s left anterior descending artery. Stern was treated in the clinic by Centegra Physician Care interventional cardiologist Dr. Asim Zaidi, who confirmed the blockage in a coronary angiogram on Dec. 8 at the McHenry Hospital. Zaidi then placed a bioabsorbable stent that dissolves fully in about three years in Stern’s heart.
“My first thoughts when I received the diagnosis were mixed emotions,” Stern said. “One was I felt blessed that I was able to catch it before anything happened. I felt I had a good chance. The other was that I wasn’t invincible and to leave my three children behind was something that upset me, and I don’t think I could handle.
“I saw how devastated my friend’s family was. After he died, I reacted immediately, and he did save my life. Because we caught it, I was able to walk into the hospital full-strength, have the procedure and get back to my life without missing a beat.”
After his experience at Centegra, Stern has been telling everyone he knows about the coronary CTA.
“The care at Centegra was incredible,” Stern said. “Everything from the doctors, nurses and follow-up; people were incredible, and I’d recommend it to everybody.”
Centegra Health System, 4309 Medical Center Drive, McHenry, IL 60050