Ellen Rogers Abrell – Cardiac Catheterization Success Story

Un-beat-able cardiac care

For Ellen Rogers Abrell, the journey to better heart health began last summer in Michigan, when she was visiting her son and daughter-in-law during the Fourth of July holiday.

“We were seated on the beach, watching the sunset,” recalls Ellen, a then-newly retired teacher and 71-year-old grandmother of six. “When it was time to go, I discovered that I needed help pushing myself up to a standing position. Then I realized I couldn’t really walk. It was like my legs had just topped working.”

Within 48 hours, Ellen had flown to Texas to be treated near her family in Mansfield. Alan Taylor, MD, on the medical staff at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, ordered a series of tests for Ellen and, based on their results, recommended further investigation via cardiac catheterization.

A look inside

Ellen Rodgers & Her Family Communication and collaboration helped Ellen Rogers
Abrell take a diagnosis of heart disease in stride.

“Cardiac catheterization involves the insertion of a thin, flexible tube through a blood vessel, which is then threaded into the patient’s heart,” Dr. Taylor explains. “It allows us to diagnose and treat a range of heart problems quickly and efficiently, with minimal risk to the patient.

“In Ellen’s case, the catheterization also included an aortogram with runoffs, which allowed us to also check for possible involvement in her legs and her abdomen.” Ellen’s catheterization revealed the presence of nonobstructive coronary artery disease and peripheral arterial disease. Stents — small wire-mesh tubes — were then placed in her blood vessels to improve blood flow.

“Everything about all of the procedures happened smoothly — and quickly,” Ellen says.

Care with heart

Although the diagnosis of heart trouble was unexpected, Ellen says she’s taking it in stride.

“Dr. Taylor recommended a diet and exercise plan to help me stay on the right track,” she says. “Throughout my treatment and recovery, there was a lot of explanation and follow-up to make sure I understood everything and knew what I needed to do to feel better.”

This thorough communication and collaboration are the aspects of Ellen’s care at Methodist Mansfield that stood out the most to her.

“Whether it was dry shampoo for my hair or music to listen to during a procedure, the staff always seemed to have my needs at the front of their minds,” she says. “I never heard anything but kind words from the nurses, techs, and doctors, whether talking to each other or to patients.

“They never treated me like a number, and no matter how busy they were, they made me feel like I was the only patient they had to worry about,” she adds. “I couldn’t have asked for better care.”