Arkansas Man Amazed at Care Received at Oklahoma Heart Institute

David Engle, 76, had heart complications in his 60s. Years later, after being involved in a car accident, Engle experienced another life-changing cardiovascular event that lead him to Oklahoma Heart Institute.

“I had a triple bypass and valve replacement nine years ago,” said Engle. “In September of 2016, I was hit head on in a car accident in Arkansas. Following the accident, the EMC workers told me that I needed to be checked out because I was in such bad pain. When I was taken to the hospital, the doctors told me I had contusions and that muscle relaxants would take care of the pain.”

From the get go, Engle could feel that it was more than just contusions that were causing him to be in extreme pain. “I kept telling my cardiologist that something felt wrong,” said Engle. “An iodine test was finally performed and they found that the seatbelt had crushed three veins behind my heart during the car accident. One of those veins took five stents to repair, and then I had to go back for two other stent recoveries. During this time I also started having complications with my heart valve. My cardiologist could see that my heart was missing a beat every fourth beat.”

The type of care that Engle needed for this particular issue was not available in Arkansas, so his cardiologist referred him to Oklahoma Heart Institute. “At the beginning of 2018, it was arranged for me to meet Dr. Kamran Muhammad, interventional cardiologist at Oklahoma Heart Institute,” said Engle. “Dr. Muhammad was supposed to put in an artificial valve. Unfortunately, before I was able to have the surgery, I started having trouble breathing and I couldn’t sleep. I went to the emergency room in Arkansas where they gave me a mild diuretic. I thought things would get better, but the symptoms progressively worsened.”

Engle contacted Dr. Muhammad’s office and told them that he was having to sleep sitting straight up and was still having difficulty breathing. The nurse practitioner who works with Dr. Muhammad prescribed Engle a higher dosage of a diuretic and potassium and ensured him that they would work to get him into surgery as quickly as possible.

Soon after, Engle stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest. “My doctors in Arkansas called Oklahoma Heart Institute to let them know that I was in trouble,” said Engle. “I was transferred on a Thursday night, stabilized and then I had the heart valve put in on Friday morning. The thing that really blew my mind was that I was able to go home on Saturday morning. When I had the triple bypass and valve replacement done several years ago, I was in the hospital for a week. I was so amazed at their ability to address the issues so quickly.”

Following this procedure, Engle learned that he needed to have another procedure done because his carotid artery was 95 percent blocked. “Unlike the procedure I had done with Dr. Muhammad, this was something that could be done by a doctor in Arkansas,” said Engle. “Even so, I knew I wanted to have my surgery done at Oklahoma Heart Institute. Dr. Muhammad also performed that surgery.”

When Engle awoke from surgery he was in a bit of a panic, but the care he received at Oklahoma Heart Institute made him feel more at ease following a certain scenario. “When I woke up, I was told that I would be okay but they didn’t want me to move for four or five hours,” said Engle. “I didn’t understand everything that was happening, but at that time I couldn’t move one of my legs. I immediately panicked and thought that I was paralyzed. I was screaming for someone to help me and in comes Dr. Muhammad. Of all of the people that were around at that time, I never expected him to be the one to run through the door. He put his hands on my face, talked me down and ensured that everything was going to be just fine. I know how busy doctors are and it really meant the world to me that he came in and told me I was going to be alright.”

Personal attention and constant care and compassion are just a few of the things that Engle loves about Oklahoma Heart Institute. He was also impressed with the nursing staff, the look and feel of the facility and the food.

Engle is still traveling to Oklahoma Heart Institute for follow-up appointments with Dr. Muhammad. “I could see a doctor in Arkansas for these appointments now, but I’d rather make the trip to Tulsa,” said Engle. “There’s just something about the attitude at Oklahoma Heart Institute that makes me want to keep coming back. They are all so amazing and such a big help for all of us who have these serious needs.”

Following his surgeries, Engle is doing very well. “I really feel like a new man,” said Engle. “I’m feeding my horses their hay, picking up my grandchildren and am able to lift things again. I cannot say enough about the care I received at Oklahoma Heart Institute.”