Heart patient praises PMC cardiac team

Carol Casebolt

Eddie Phillips of Pikeville had a heart attack on Dec. 17, 2016. A completely normal day became a life changer for Phillips. What started as pressure in his chest ended in a surgery suite at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC).


Phillips said, “I was at home when I experienced pressure in my chest but I just thought it was indigestion. When the pain did not go away I headed for the hospital.”


He presented at the PMC Emergency Department (ED) and was taken straight to the cardiac catheterization (cath) lab.


“The cath procedure only took a little while because it was pretty clear there was a lot of work that had to be done,” said Phillips. “Dr. Halpin was on call and words cannot express how thankful I am for that.”


Phillips says PMC’s Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dermot P. Halpin, MD was ready to care for him.


“He put me at ease and I was not afraid,” said Phillips. “He knew what he was doing, he had a definite plan for my care and I will always be indebted to him for saving my life. In my opinion, Dr. Halpin is worth his weight in gold.”


Phillips had beds ready and waiting for him at two other well-known hospitals, but after discussing his condition with several additional physicians, Phillips followed their advice and chose PMC.


“They told me I really did not need to go anywhere else for heart care and they were absolutely right,” said Phillips.


Phillips praised the PMC Heart and Vascular Institute and said the people of eastern Kentucky are fortunate to have this strong team of professionals close to home.


“They are a great group,” he said. “Everyone in the ED, intensive care unit (ICU), the cath lab, surgery and on the floor did amazing work. I was treated like a baby, as was everyone else around me. I did not ask for anything that I did not receive, they are a great bunch.”


After his coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, Phillips says life is getting back to normal.


He is working in a local furniture store in Pikeville after retiring from a 23 year career in the insurance business. He is taking life a little slower now.


“I walk a lot, stay active and I listen to what my body is telling me,” said Phillips. “When you go from 10’ tall and bullet proof to 5’4” with the realization you really can be hurt, it is a game changer.”


He is currently a patient in PMC’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program and says he is growing stronger each day.


Phillips turned to PMC at the most critical moment of his life and encourages anyone dealing with heart problems to do the same.


“I could not have received better treatment anywhere,” he said. “I encourage anyone with heart disease to take advantage of the heart program at PMC.”


Phillips says he has a different take on the American Heart Month now.


“Heart month is every month for me now,” he said. “I take better care of myself and I try to watch my stress levels. This is something I will get over but I will not forget it because my heart will not let me. “


To schedule an appointment with a physician in the PMC Heart and Vascular Institute call 606-218-2201.