Grove resident Jim Gray was 74 years old when he began to feel unlike himself while out on a walk. After a visit to the local emergency room and a consultation with a cardiologist, he learned that he would soon be having open heart surgery.
“When I was out on my daily walk, my back started hurting” said Jim. “I came inside and told my wife that I was in pain and she took me straight to the hospital in Grove. Once I was examined, the doctor told us that he was going to send me to Oklahoma Heart Institute because I could possibly need open heart surgery.”
From his first encounter, Jim was very pleased with Oklahoma Heart Institute. “Dr. Michael Phillips was my surgeon and he was amazing,” said Jim. “He replaced my aortic valve and was right with me through it all. He checked in with me after surgery many times. The nurses were also wonderful. I was amazed at their professionalism and the warmth I felt from their care.”
Linda Gray, Jim’s wife, recalls an experience before Jim’s surgery that, while nerve-wracking, put her at ease. “Even at 74 years old, Jim had had very few hospital experiences,” said Linda. “The night before his surgery, we were in the hospital room and he asked ‘Do I have anything to be afraid of?’ As his wife, knowing that he was about to have open heart surgery, I didn’t know how to answer that at first. After sitting there for a minute I said, ‘Jim, I can’t answer that question, but we are in the best place we could be for your surgery.’ It brings me to tears now because we truly were in the best place. This is why I would recommend Oklahoma Heart Institute to anyone. It is a great place with incredible doctors.”
Jim had an exceptional experience after surgery. “When I woke up, I knew I didn’t have to worry about anything,” said Jim. “Recovering from open heart surgery isn’t easy, but I felt so comfortable at Oklahoma Heart Institute. From the moment I walked in to the moment I left, I felt loved.”
Jim was also impressed with how personable the staff was. “After my surgery, I was walking the halls and so many of the doctors stopped to ask me how I was doing,” said Jim. “I know they are busy and they certainly didn’t have to stop to talk to me. I really appreciated that, and it made me feel certain that I had made the right choice in coming to Oklahoma Heart Institute. I felt very well taken care of.”
Almost five years down the road, Jim is feeling better than ever. “I walk every day and play golf three times a week,” said Jim. “I even took my wife dancing a few weekends ago. I’ll be 79 in December but I certainly don’t feel that old. I had a follow up appointment a few weeks ago and everything looked great. I am happy to be alive and I owe it all to Oklahoma Heart Institute.”