Woman's aches and pains led to scary diagnosis - KMSP-TV

Woman's aches and pains led to scary diagnosis

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WARREN, Mich. (AP) - WARREN, Mich.-- A Shelby Township woman was always explaining away her symptoms. Danny Marko, 61, thought if her upper back ached, it could be blamed on gardening. But she says her body refused to be ignored.

Marko said she knew something was wrong, but doctor's couldn't figure it out. She remembers her symptoms being "tightness in my chest, jaw, and feeling like the room was just spinning." 

It wasn't until St. John Macomb Cardiologist Sindhu Koshy finally cracked the case. She sent Marko in for an angiogram, which fills your arteries with dye. Then, an x-ray can see how the blood is flowing. After the test doesn't detect a big problem, Dr. Koshy goes one step further. She sends her patient in for an intravascular ultrasound in hopes of solving the mystery.

Dr. Koshy says it's an effective procedure to check the heart for blockage. "So, they actually put a tiny camera into these blood vessels to see how severe blockage was. At that time, we found a 70 percent blockage in the left main."

That big blockage sends Marko into open heart surgery. She has a bypass, which means the blood flow is rerouted around the blockage.    

"Those blockages aren't changed," Koshy explains. "They will stay closed, and the patient will take medication to prevent further blockage.  You're going to make a highway around the blockage. We use new veins and arteries to get blood to heart that wasn't getting it before."

Marko is on the mend and wants all women to know even severe, life-threatening heart disease can show up with some subtle symptoms.

"Your body is telling you something," Marko said of the ordeal. "You need to push the envelope and say, 'I know there's something wrong; let's figure out.' Get to the root of the problem."

FOX 2 is teaming up with with St. John Providence Health System for the 'Healthy Heart Project'.  People will be able to receive free heart screenings at two locations this weekend:

St. John Hospital and Medical Center Detroit: (22101 Moross, Detroit, MI 48236)

Providence Hospital: 16001 W. 9 Mile Road in Southfield (9 Mile and Greenfield)

The event is open from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.  Registration for the free screenings ends at 10:00 a.m. Parking is free, and the event is free.

Free Screenings and Tests Include:

Electrocardiogram (EKG).  Get a real time look at your heart with an EKG -- it's an electrical recording of the heart used in the investigation of heart disease.

Blood pressure to check for hypertension, one of the first signs of a cardiovascular problem.

Body mass index, which is a measurement used to determine obesity, a leading contributor to cardiovascular problems.

Plus, a blood glucose test (no fasting required), heart risk assessment test and expert advice on nutrition, fitness, quitting smoking and stress management.

It's a day devoted to heart disease prevention -- you'll get free heart health screenings with on-the-spot results and expert advice on adopting a heart healthy lifestyle.

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