President’s Message Mar - May 2007
LOOKING BACK AND MOVING FORWARD
In the Spring 2007 Healthy Living, Eisenhower Board Member Greg Renker and his wife Stacey share their personal and dramatic health crises. “Get Well. Be Well. Stay Well.” chronicles the Renkers’ story. At the age of 41, Greg Renker was exercising and experienced a shortness of breath. With no history of heart disease in his family, Greg was surprised to find severe blockages in the arteries of his heart. “Had it not been for the miraculous sequence of events — and the fast thinking of Drs. Sneider, Hackshaw and Wilson, I wouldn’t be here today,” says Greg.
Within a few years, the Renkers faced yet another life-threatening situation.When Stacey Renker’s cold grew worse and she experienced difficulty breathing, Stacey went to Eisenhower’s Emergency Department. The unidentified illness escalated rapidly, and by the next morning, Stacey was in the Intensive Care Unit with multiple organ failure. With the blood tests not yet back from the lab, an Eisenhower physician, who had diagnosed this type of infection once before, thought it might be Streptococcus pyogenes (a dangerous form of Toxic Shock Syndrome) and administered gamma globulin to boost Stacey’s immune system. Lab tests confirmed the rare diagnosis and the aggressive treatment at Eisenhower saved Stacey’s life.
Also in this issue of Healthy Living, “Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery” is featured and clearly described in simple language. Healthy Living demystifies this common heart surgery, also featuring Eisenhower’s Cardiovascular Center of Excellence — the Eisenhower Smilow Heart Center. Healthy Living also spotlights in “Matters of the Heart,” Eisenhower’s Interventional Atrial Fibrillation Program, which is one of the only seven comprehensive atrial fibrillation programs in the United States.
In “What’s New,”Healthy Living takes you inside the official groundbreaking ceremony and gala reception for the new $212.5 million Walter and Leonore Annenberg Hospital Pavilion. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Senator John Danforth, joined Eisenhower Medical Center in celebrating Leonore Annenberg and the Annenberg tradition of philanthropy.
We are always interested in your comments and feedback and have recently introduced a “Letters to the Editor” section. I invite your responses to Eisenhower’s Healthy Living magazine. Email us at HLeditor@thedesertsun.com.
Yours in good health,
G. Aubrey Serfling President and Chief Executive Officer Eisenhower Medical Center