When It’s A Matter Of The Heart, The McGraw’s Have It All In The Family

The McGraw’s are not only coworkers, but family. As employees at Southern Ohio Medical Center, they have all have been fortunate to receive excellent heart services at SOMC. Because of quality care and cardiac rehab, they are all on their way to long, healthy lives. Shown above is (from l to r) Randy, his wife Bobbi, Jake and Tim McGraw.

Imagine for a moment that you just finished assisting heart surgeons as they put a pacemaker into a patient. After the surgery, you grab some breakfast, sit down to eat and you begin to have a heart attack. Sheer panic…and terror. You yell for help from a co-worker. Luckily for Jake McGraw, he was working in a hospital when this happened to him, only three months ago.

Needless to say, Jake, a CVOR tech at Southern Ohio Medical Center, was grateful to be working at SOMC and only steps away from some of the best heart surgeons in the region. They rushed him to the emergency room and had him in the heart catheterization lab within six minutes. Jake had two stents inserted in his heart and a week later, had a pacemaker put in. Jake is only 46 years old.

Twenty-seven years ago, Jake’s father, Jacob McGraw, Sr. died of a sudden heart attack at the ironic age of 46. He too worked at SOMC, as the Maintenance Supervisor. Jake Jr. was overweight and had never felt any symptoms or warning signs. “I thought because of my father, that I might be more susceptible to heart issues and I was a little worried but I never thought something like this would happen.”

Jake’s frightening ordeal was enough to motivate his brothers, Randy McGraw and Tim McGraw, both employees of the SOMC Maintenance department, to have heart caths done to check their hearts for potential problems. According to the American Heart Association’s 2011 statistics, a premature parental history of a heart attack has been shown to approximately double the risk of a heart attack in men by 70 percent.

Tim had his heart cath done at SOMC only a week after Jake’s heart attack and luckily everything looked clear. Randy, the eldest brother, wasn’t so fortunate. His heart cath revealed significant blockage in his left main coronary artery, also known as the “widow maker.” Randy’s wife, Bobbi, also an employee at SOMC, wept when the physicians told her. Bobbi had just lost a close friend and coworker to a heart attack and she was scared for husband. The physicians at SOMC assured her that everything would be fine and they would take excellent care of Randy.

Randy had a stent put in his heart, stayed in the hospital overnight and went home the next day. “I’m so grateful that I had the heart cath done and that they found the blockage early,” he said. “I’m now in cardiac rehabilitation at SOMC and it’s excellent. I really think it’s helping.”

Since Jake’s heart attack, his other brother, two sisters, an aunt and his sister-in-law Bobbi have also had heart caths, tests and have talked with their family physicians about the severity of heart disease in the McGraw family.

February is American Heart Month and if you have a family history of heart disease, please schedule an appointment with your family physician to see if there is a need for cardiology follow-up. Also, SOMC offers a heart disease support group that meets monthly. For more information about the Mended Hearts group, please call 740-356-7663.

Southern Ohio Medical Center has choreographed a heart awareness music video featuring heart and cardiac rehab patients, members of the Mended Hearts group and employees who have had heart services at SOMC. The video also highlights the McGraw family. To watch the video, click here.