Bill Duggan – Cardiac Catheterization Success Story

Wipe out!

Bill Duggan’s skateboarding accident led to finding and fixing his heart blockage

“Is that the best you can do?” Bill Duggan called to his 16-year-old grandson as he tried out his new skateboard.

It was a good-natured jab, and his grandson fired right back: “Can you do any better?”

“I sure can,” Bill said.

Bill Duggan & His Father

The next thing he knew, he was lying flat on his back in the driveway.

“I knew I’d hurt my shoulder considerably because I had never felt anything like that before,” he recalls.

The next morning he headed to Methodist Richardson Medical Center, a place he’d come to for years — 28 as a paramedic with the Richardson Fire Department, 13 of those as emergency medical services chief.

Diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff, Bill required surgery. But first he needed a complete physical.

“I failed my stress test miserably,” Bill says. “I had thought I was in pretty good shape for a 70-year-old guy, but they found a blockage in my heart.”

New and improved cardiac services

Only a few days later, Bill had a cardiac catheterization procedure with Nhan Nguyen, MD, interventional cardiologist on the Methodist Richardson medical staff.

With cardiac catheterization, a thin catheter is threaded to a blockage in the heart. A small balloon on the catheter’s tip is inflated, widening the artery and restoring blood flow.

“Bill is a perfect example of why the new Methodist Richardson has two dedicated cardiac catheterization labs,” Dr. Nguyen says. “This procedure saves lives in an emergency or preventively, as in Bill’s case. He had a 90 percent blockage in one of his coronary arteries, but we got to it before it cut off his blood supply completely and led to a heart attack.”

Dr. Nguyen kept Bill overnight for observation, and the retiree went home the next morning.

“I guess falling on that shoulder, in a way, may have saved my life,” Bill says. “Things work in crazy ways. If I hadn’t have wrecked my shoulder, I wouldn’t have taken that physical and found the blockage.”

Stoked about Methodist Richardson

Sixteen years after retiring, Bill says Methodist Richardson is still there for him and his community.

“I was shocked that I had cardiac problems and didn’t know what to expect, but I put my faith in Methodist Richardson and it worked,” he says. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this hospital. They were wonderful, and I was completely satisfied from start to finish.”