Two years ago Sedalia resident Jay Hohne couldn’t walk 15 feet without having to stop and catch his breath.
“I thought it was my smoking. I was short of breath all the time, my chest would get tight and I’d have to rest,” Hohne said. “I finally decided I needed to get checked out by a doctor, head to toe. They happened to start with my heart. I’m glad they did.”
Doctors at Bothwell Regional Health Center’s cath lab found one of Hohne’s arteries 100 percent blocked and another 95 percent blocked.
“It’s unofficially known as a ‘widow maker,’ ” Hohne said. “I woke up in the cath lab and they told me I needed immediate surgery so I was transferred to Boone Hospital for a double bypass. The surgeon told me if it hadn’t been caught I would have had two days to live.”
Since his surgery, Hohne has quit smoking, stopped eating fast food and started walking three to five times a week. This Saturday he’ll compete in his first 5K when he and his family walk in the BRHC’s sixth annual Lub Dub Run.
“I never really thought I’d be the type of person to walk in a 5K. That just wasn’t me,” Hohne said. “But that was before my bypass. Now, I know I can do it for one, but I also want to show my appreciation for everyone at Bothwell, especially the nurses in the cath lab. It’s been quite a journey for me.”
Lub Dub raises money for the Camye Callis Gaspard Memorial Heart Fund and this year funds are slated to purchase an Xper Swing, a software program that will allow doctors to see 3D renderings of the heart.
“If you have heart imaging done now, a patient would be injected with dye contrast and an X-ray will be taken from one angle, then the process is repeated to get different angles,” said Lisa Church, executive director of the Bothwell Foundation and Communications. “With this software we can eliminate some of that. Anytime a patient has dye injected or undergoes an X-ray is there some normal exposure to radiation, so to take some of that out of the equation completely is a good thing.”
Church said there have been 450 registrations for this year’s run so far and she expected more right up until the start of the race.
“Last year we had around 350 participants, so we’re so excited with the turnout so far,” she said. “I think a lot of that has to do with word of mouth for the race and also Healthy U’s recent Couch to 5K program, which prepared people who had never run before to participate in a 5K.”
For Hohne, this Saturday’s walk will be “just another step to staying healthy.”
“I was 51 when I had my bypass,” he said. “It was one of those things, I never felt sick. I didn’t realize how bad I was feeling all the time until after my surgery and recovery. Now I feel great, I breathe better, sleep better.
“For my family and me, participating in the Lub Dub, we didn’t give it a second thought. I don’t mind donating a little money and my Saturday morning to the hospital — they saved my life.”