Triple Bypass Changes Man’s Outlook on Life
One night in June 2016, Kief Giblin woke his wife up in the middle of the night and told her he was having a heart attack. Three days later he underwent triple bypass surgery.
Kief was only 46 years old. But genetic health issues meant he was predisposed to heart issues. He’d had his first heart attack seven years earlier, wife Christy explains. So when the pain hit, he knew he needed emergency care.
After an overnight at the Giblin’s local ER, Kief was transferred to Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay. He spent a weekend in the ICU as doctors tried to stabilize his health and get him ready for surgery. Afterwards, he spent three days in post-op care before returning home with periodic check-ins from at-home-nursing care.
Through it all, Christy says, she and Kief both felt fully informed and supported. From time spent with their cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Alexander Roitstein, to the surgical status screens in the family waiting room, Christy says, everyone was “superb at explaining and letting me know what was happening.” Christy even goes so far as to call it a “positive experience.”
“Don’t get me wrong, those first days were filled with lots of tears and emotions. But everything was clear. I didn’t have to wonder what would happen next,” she says. “Everyone was very positive. There was never a moment when I heard a negative word come out of anyone’s mouth. It was just reassuring.”
Christy says she’s had hospital experiences in the past where she felt like she was putting someone out by asking questions. “This wasn’t that,” she says. “Nurses from four days earlier would see me and ask, ‘How’s he doing?’ It was a very comforting experience.”
And when Kief (who Christy describes as a “huge introvert”) had to return to the hospital for follow-up care, he suggested they return to the ICU to visit the nurses. “For my husband to want to do that, that’s a big deal. That really says something.”
Today, Kief has rededicated himself to improving his health, making smarter choices about food and exercise. And the whole Giblin family has helped raise awareness by participating in a fundraiser for the American Heart Association.
“This is the kick in the butt he needed,” Christy says. “He’s not taking his life for granted anymore.”