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The Mysterious Human Heart The Mysterious Human Heart border=
A Series by David Grubin


Patient Updates: The Silent Killer

Georgia has maintained her regimen of daily exercise.
Georgia has maintained her regimen of daily exercise.

GEORGIA CHAN-DOWNARD

Since filming, Georgia has maintained her regimen of daily exercise and is surprised to discover that instead of dreading the exercise or finding it boring, she really enjoys it, adding that, "it has really improved my overall energy levels and makes me feel really good." She still attends the heart disease support group finding it helpful in managing stress. But in Georgia's life, food plays a central role and entirely abstaining from some of her favorite foods is not an option. Her compromise is to eat small amounts of foods like cheese, red meat, and butter. In addition to medication, these adjustments have drastically lowered her overall cholesterol from nearly 300 to 159. More impressive is the ratio of Georgia's HDL to LDL. Her HDL, often called the "good" cholesterol is 80 and her LDL, the counterpart "bad" cholesterol is 67. All of these numbers fall into the "desirable" range described by the American Heart Association.

Georgia is not only making changes for herself, but her actions are also influencing those around her. After her stent procedure, Georgia's 24 year-old son, Ben Downard quit smoking and is also more careful about what he eats. In addition, Georgia is currently developing recipes that are delicious, easy to prepare, and heart healthy. Some of these recipes will appear in SELF magazine along with an article that she's writing about the experience of discovering her hidden heart disease. In the future, she hopes to author a heart healthy cookbook.

Micah's blood pressure is the lowest it has ever been.
Micah's blood pressure is the lowest it has ever been.

MICAH GAY

This fall, Micah Gay started his senior year at Marian Purcell High School and football season began anew for the renowned Purcell Marian Cavaliers. Being a member of a high-ranking prep football team requires dedication and sweat: three and a half hours worth everyday after school. With this regular exercise, the support of his coach, nutritionist, and family, Micah has shed nearly twenty pounds, which is a boon for both his heart and his game. He's happy to say that that his blood pressure is the lowest it has ever been, 105 over 51, since attending Dr. Urbina's preventive cardiology clinic; a result that makes him extremely happy. But an even greater goal for Micah is see his team win the state championship, a particularly difficult and competitive division in Ohio. At home, Micah's grandparents, Lessie and Curtis Gay, have further cut back on the size of Micah's dinner meals and make sure to pack a healthy brown-bag lunch for him to take to school. While the state championships are months away, Micah is looking even further into the future. He has set his sights on the University of Cincinnati, where he plans to major in history or marketing and then apply to law school.


SUE ISAAC
Sue has retired.
Sue has retired.

Since her triple-bypass surgery, Sue has retired from Beth Israel Medical Center. She is now living in Georgia.



Funding is provided by Medtronic, AstraZeneca, and Mars, Incorporated - makers of CocoaVia. Additional funding is provided by the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation. A co-production of David Grubin Productions, Thirteen/WNET New York and WETA Washington, D.C.
Medtronic AsrtaZeneca MARS Thirteen/WNET NEW YORK