With a big blizzard forecasted, Rod Dikoff decided to make a clinic appointment at Faulkton Area Medical Center (FAMC) to get checked out for some heartburn and flank pain he was having for the past week. “I wouldn’t have gotten checked out, but I didn’t want to be stuck at home in Onaka if it became something more.” Rod was seen in the clinic where he was quickly taken down to the Emergency Room after an EKG showed he was having a heart attack called a ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction or STEMI. Of the two types of heart attacks one can have, a STEMI occurs when a major artery is blocked completely making it the more serious of the two.

Jesseca Kast, CNP understood the severity of the situation and started the process to obtain medical transportation for Rod to get to a Cardiologist right away. Jesseca remarks, “Since it had started snowing, Air transport was not an option, so a Faulk County Ambulance driver and a hospital nurse hopped on the rig and delivered Rod to Avera St Luke’s where he underwent stenting of two areas in his heart shortly after arrival.” He was discharged home the next day ahead of more snow and had orders to start Cardiac Rehab at FAMC for 15 sessions.

Rod started Cardiac Rehab a week later. “I didn’t realize how serious this all was until they told me afterwards, it is no questions that you guys saved my life,” Rod admits. “The purpose of the Cardiac Rehab Program is to provide progressive exercise and education, during medical supervision, to individuals with heart disease or a recent heart event,” states Lindsey Poeppel, Director of Nursing at FAMC. The goal is to return the patient to normal activity, by finding an acceptable balance of activity, nutritional status, stress, relaxation, work, and play. If you or a loved one could benefit from Cardiac Rehab, schedule an appointment to discuss with your primary care provider. Additionally, if you are experiencing chest discomfort, increased fatigue, normal routine intolerance—no matter the severity—schedule an appointment to be seen by your provider like Rod did, “And boy I’m glad I did.”

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