Duane's Cardiology Story

Richmond man gets second chance from heart cath

Duane and his wife, Juanita, have known each other since they were 2. Best friends, they got married in 1981, and share four children, Jason, Jacob, Judith and Dylan. Married for forty years, their children and grandchildren have always been a large part of their life.

Duane had been working on a thoroughbred horse barn that day with his older sons, who are general contractors, when he felt a tightness in his chest. Fortunately, it passed. He came home that night and mowed the yard, and then tried starting the weed eater and it hit him again. This time it was more severe and down both arms.

“He was sitting here in the rocking chair when I came out and he said, ‘I'm in trouble,’” said Juanita. “I said, well, let's get in the car and go. In the moment you just pray and ask the Lord to take care of him and help us to know the right things to do.”

Duane’s physician, Larry Breeding, MD, Baptist Health Medical Group Cardiology in Richmond, performed a heart cath where they found two blockages in his descending artery.

“Having spoken to colleagues who have also been in practice in different parts of the U.S., there's a universal opinion that this part of Kentucky is considered the hotbed of the U.S. for vascular disease. Having modern equipment and good, qualified, well-trained cardiologists makes all the difference in the world,” says Dr. Breeding. “Here in Richmond, we offer both coronary and peripheral interventions for blocked arteries to the heart, as well as the limb and extremity arteries.”

When the realization of where he was and what was going on hit Duane, he was glad a nurse was paying close attention to him as big tears rolled out of his eyes. “She came over and put her hand on top of my head, and she said, ‘Are you okay?’ I said, yeah, I'm fine, and she said, ‘It's all going to be fine. You'll see,’” said Duane.

Dr. Breeding explained that to get someone over a serious heart illness, it takes a multidisciplinary approach that's integrated, like at Baptist Health.

Duane immediately felt better and had more energy. He says his experience was absolutely phenomenal. It gave him new life, because he realized that he wants to play a very important part in the life of his kids and grandkids, as well as Juanita.

“To know you're 13 minutes away from somebody who can save your life and your child's life is priceless. You can't put a price tag on it,” says Duane.

“With us, it's how special Duane is to me, and that in the long scheme of things, at the end of the day when the kids are all grown, I want us to have that time together. We want to spend that time together,” says Juanita.

When it comes to keeping your heart healthy, prevention is the best medicine. Together, we can protect your long-term health.