Minor pain reveals major problem for Austad’s Golf CEO


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A local business owner is breathing a sigh of relief after a recent medical scare.

During a wellness exam last month, Austad’s Golf CEO Dave Austad complained of chest pain when mowing the lawn. That earned him an appointment with Sanford Health Cardiologist Dr. Scott Pham.

“He’s a very active kind of individual and all of the sudden he gets shortness of breath, it raised concerns about his heart condition,” Sanford Health Cardiologist Dr. Scott Pham said.

Dr. Pham recommended an angiogram, which revealed a critical blockage.

“I’m conscious through the whole thing, so I’m watching and he immediately sees that I have 99% blockage through the widowmaker, the one artery that basically if that thing goes you’re done. He said you are immediately going into the hospital, if we don’t get something done you will be dead in 30 to 60 days,” Dave Austad said.

“When you get a blockage in the order of 99%, all it takes is one stress event and that’s all it takes. A person could be found dead on the treadmill in the basement or collapse out on the golf course or whatever that might be,” Dr. Pham said.

The solution? Open heart surgery. Everything went according to script for the now 61-year-old Austad.

“I feel good, I have more energy, I’m walking, I have no chest pain, other than the incision itself,” Austad said.

Austad graduates from cardiac rehab tomorrow and stresses the importance of regular health screenings.

“That’s kind of a no-brainer, even if you don’t feel anything, but just be upfront with what’s going on,” Austad said.

“He recovered very nicely and back, with rehab, doing most of the activity that he was doing previous to the procedure,” Dr. Pham said.

Most activities…

“My golf game is going to be delayed until July, probably, which is a little difficult, but it beats the alternative (laugh),” Austad said.

In addition to exercise and a healthy diet, Dr. Pham says males with certain risk factors should consider a heart screening around age 50.

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