Friday, February 27, 2015

Dave Dionne is the kind of guy you just want to be around. He’s always smiling and telling jokes. You know when you meet him that he’s got a zest for life and a wonderful sense of humor. Although retired now, Dave still goes by the motto he had when he was working at Viking Freight: E Z T D B W - Easy to do business with. Dave Dionne is just that.

But there was a time not long ago that he wasn’t quite so happy. In 2010, Dave wasn’t feeling right. His family doctor sent him for a stress test. His test revealed something wrong with his heart... something very wrong. He was suffering with a 95% blockage. Because Chambersburg Hospital doesn’t do open heart surgery, he was referred to another hospital that did.

In 2012, even after his by-pass surgery, he still wasn’t feeling right, so his cardiologist referred him to Hershey Medical Center for an Inplantable Cardioverter Defibrillator, or ICD for short. The small, battery powered device sits just under the skin and tracks heart rhythms. It will send an electric shock if abnormal rhythm is detected. Dave thought finally he would get back to normal.

Still, he didn’t feel well. “I wanted to cry,” Dave remembers. “I didn’t understand why I wasn’t better. After all this I should feel better!” He felt frustrated and angry.

At a visit to his family doctor, Dave began experiencing sharp pains in his left side that shot up to his neck. He was immediately sent to the Emergency Department at Chambersburg Hospital where it was determined, thankfully, that he was not having a heart attack. His blood pressure was still low - 88/40 – so hospital doctors decided to keep him for further observation.

Dr. Yaser Elnahar was the cardiologist on duty that day. Dr. Elnahar had recently relocated to Chambersburg to join Summit Health’s cardiology team.

“Dr. Elnahar was in the right place, at the right time, and did the right thing,” Dave recalls. After a careful evaluation, the cardiologist made some changes to the medications Dave was taking. The new drug regime worked. Within two days Dave was feeling better.

Dave credits Summit Cardiology physicians, Dr. Hari Gnanasekeram and Dr. Yaser Elnahar, along withcardiology CRNP, Shani Gadwaw, for getting him turned back in the right direction.

“It took a team to get me better,” Dave says smiling with his team all around him. “If you need a team, Summit’s your team!” Today, thanks to exceptional care from his Summit Cardiology team, Dave’s back to a full life and is keeping up a regular exercise program at Results Fitness.

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