By Madison Loethen
80-year-old Nelson Wilson of Mexico, Missouri was doing some contracting work in Louisiana this past fall when he noticed being short of breath. He figured it could just be because of the muggy weather. However, when he got home, he noticed the shortness of breath was just getting worse. He decided to make an appointment with this primary care doctor to see what might be going on.
Nelson’s doctor recommended that he see a cardiologist. Nelson’s daughter works at Boone Hospital Center and told him he should go to a Boone doctor as soon as possible. Nelson’s daughter’s coworkers recommended Mark Stampehl, MD, with Missouri Heart Center. Nelson promptly got an appointment.
“As soon as Dr. Stampehl walked in the door, I knew I liked him. He just had that aurora around him that made you like him. He got right to work and we started doing some tests,” says Nelson.
Dr. Stampehl found that Nelson was experiencing atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that can cause poor blood flow.
“Dr. Stampehl explained to me that my atrial fibrillation was probably caused by something more serious. He said he was going to find the root cause of all this. I really appreciated how through he was being,” says Nelson.
After more testing, Nelson was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Dr. Stampehl specializes in heart failure and the treatment of heart failure patients. He began developing a treatment plan for Nelson right away.
“We set out to evaluate what was going on with the structure and the function of the heart and ultimately found a serious problem that led to his heart becoming very weak. We began decongesting the body with medicines to help him get rid of excess fluid, and we went to the source of the problem with the most advanced medicines to get the heart stronger.”
Nelson was also found to have a blockage in his coronary arteries, so two stents were placed to restore blood flow back to the heart muscle. Nelson says he is already feeling much stronger and is very grateful for the care team that helped him.
“I really liked that I was able to see a heart failure specialist who has done lots of research about my condition. It made me know I was getting the best care possible. I’m already feeling so much better,” says Nelson.