The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Cardiac care at St. Johns Hospital is superb


To The Eagle:

On November 23, 2018, the day after Thanksgiving, I suffered a STEMI heart attack, also known as a “widow maker,” and was a thirty minute drive by ambulance to St. John’s hospital. I recognized the early symptoms and called 911.

En route to the hospital I was transferred to an AMR ambulance at Stella where a 12 lead EKG showed the STEMI.

The AMR paramedic activated the cardiac team at St. John’s ED. Upon arrival I was suffering serious chest pain and a pulse of 43.

Fortunately for me Dr. Suero was in the Cath Lab with another patient and was able to promptly complete the necessary procedure making the Cath Lab and Dr. Suero available to me.

I would not have survived a trip to Vancouver or Portland if the St. John’s Cath Lab had been unavailable.

Dr. Suero cleared my blocked artery, inserted a stent and an hour and a half later I was in the ICU recovering from what would otherwise have been a fatal heart attack.

I spent forty years in active fire and EMS service in Cathlamet as an Assistant Fire Chief and EMT and was unaware of the existence of the excellent cardiac services available at St. Johns. Previously cardiac interventions were performed in Vancouver or Portland, not Longview.

I have taken hundreds of patients to the ED and know that when the room is filled with nurses and doctors all doing something for the patient it is not a good sign. The Cardiac Team worked quickly and proficiently to prepare me for the Cath Lab and Dr. Suero’s team to work their magic.

I cannot speak more highly of Dr. Suero. His calm in the midst of chaos was reassuring, and his skill unmatched. Perhaps my view is tainted by the fact that he saved my life and my heart.

My patient care coordinator answered my questions and explained what was to come. I participated in Cardiac Rehab. A month later a repeat echocardiogram showed that my ejection fraction has gone from thirty after the heart attack to a normal seventy.

Dr. Suero provided the best news. I have no heart damage.

This incredible and unexpected outcome is a direct result of the PeaceHealth Cardiac Team at St Johns and Dr. Suero and I fear not enough people are aware of this excellent program.

Many people fail to recognize the early signs and symptoms of a heart attack which include: nausea, cold sweat, a feeling of impending doom, arm pain and chest or back pain. A combination of symptoms means get help quickly as a heart deprived of blood supply will suffer irreparable damage within 90 minutes.

I retired as District Court Judge for Wahkiakum County a year and a half ago after thirty eight and a half years of service. I work in my law office and am looking forward to full retirement in the coming years. My wife Cynthia is Care Coordinator RN with PeaceHealth and had assured me that my care at PeaceHealth was going to be excellent.

My thanks to Cathlamet Fire, AMR, St. John Medical Center, Dr. Suero and the entire cardiac care team. They merit your support.

I am a walking miracle.

Yours very truly,

William J. Faubion



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