Kathy Shaffer was ‘Nulli Secundus’ or ‘Second To None’ When She Had Triple Bypass Surgery at MercyOne North Iowa Heart Center

Kathy Shaffer was ‘Nulli Secundus’ or ‘Second To None’ When She Had Triple Bypass Surgery at MercyOne North Iowa Heart Center

“I had no idea that I had any heart problems,” said Kathy Shaffer, 71, of Mason City. But on the morning of September 3, Kathy had trouble catching her breath, and after a consult with her doctor was advised to get to the ER right away. Kathy had suffered a heart attack, and after having an angiogram it was discovered Kathy had seven blocked arteries and needed a triple bypass surgery.

Said Kathy, “Many men on my side of the family have had heart problems, but the women haven’t so I assumed I was ok. I had experienced some pressure on my chest when walking or exercising for 15 minutes or more, but I thought I was just out of shape, or attributed it to my acid reflux. What I have learned is heart disease symptoms are different for women than men.”

“The Cardiothoracic Surgeon at MercyOne North Iowa Heart Center and I connected right away. I felt confident with him. He was very attentive, and after the surgery checked in on me 2-3 times a day,” said Kathy.

“I couldn’t eat very much after the surgery; I really had no appetite, but my doctor told me I had to eat to keep my strength up. He said, ‘What sounds good to you? I said, ‘Maybe a pizza.’ So, he took out his credit card and he said, ‘Order a pizza for Kathy and all of the staff that are taking care of her.’

“My surgeon said I was his #1 and his wife was ok with that,“ Kathy laughed. “His wife even made me a pillow that says in Latin, “Nulli Secundus” meaning “Second to None” with the date of my surgery.

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