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Lyle Swenson: Protecting His Heart

February 14, 2011, 6:10 PM by Kelli Grant

Lyle Swenson: Protecting His Heart
SIOUX FALLS, SD - For nearly 40 years he served and protected the public. But little did he know, during that time he should have been doing more to protect his own heart.

For years we watched Lyle Swenson serve and protect, but those who know him never imagined he'd be here.

“So many people tell me that they just didn't think there could be a thing wrong with me like that. So looks are deceiving,” Swenson said.

After experiencing shortness of breath for some time, last month Swenson decided he'd better have his heart checked. That quick heart screen turned into something unexpected.

“You aren't going home. You are not going home,” Swenson said.

With those words from his cardiologist, he knew that shortness of breath was something much more serious. Three blocked arteries were found, and triple bypass surgery followed.

“So the main, as if it was the main water supply to the house, was severely, critically blocked. This kind of disease basically kills and does it fast,” Sanford Cardiologist Dr. Adam Stys said.

That screen and long surgery saved Swenson's life. Just over a month later he's getting a clean bill of health.

“There's no damage to the heart at all, the valves are OK, the rhythm is fine,” Stys said.

Sanford Cardiologist Dr. Adam Stys says the shortness of breath Swenson was experiencing, shows up in less than half of all cases. More often than not, people with heart disease either show no symptoms at all, or have symptoms that are unusual.

“Sometimes people just have toothache or belly pain or indigestion kind of symptoms,” Stys said.

Which is why Swenson and his cardiologist recommend having a heart screen. Even if you feel just fine.

“Make sure that you can walk away and say if they tell you hey, you're in good shape, what a great feeling that's gonna be,” Swenson said.

Swenson is doing so well that his next appointment is in one year.

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