Jim, patient: We were given two beautiful grandkids there shortly after retirement. They are two special little girls and that really makes life nice. I never had a symptom until that first day of the actual heart attack. I was 100 percent blocked.

Diana, spouse: They put 2 or 3 stents in — the doctors would — and then within months, Jim would have the same kind of symptoms again.

Jim: I was in the hospital again and this time, it was open-heart surgery.

Diana: Oh, my gosh, when he opened Jim up, he said I've seen something today that I've never seen on anybody.

Jim: It was discovered at that time that I had sarcoidosis.

Diana: You're going to have to go to the Mayo Clinic.

Leslie Cooper, M.D., Mayo Clinic Cardiology: He had rapid re-narrowing to the arteries to his heart after they had placed stents. In his case, they were related to an autoimmune disease, sarcoidosis.

Diana: The treatment, the doctors, the teamwork was unbelievable.

Leslie Cooper, M.D.: We took an established drug in another area and applied it for the first time in cardiac sarcoidosis.

Diana: It was experimental, but it put that sarcoid into remission and that gave Jim his life back. It turned out to be a really good risk.

Jim: I didn't realize that the Mayo Clinic was so accessible. When I go there I have no doubt that I'm going to meet competent people in their work and their field. That, I think, gives you the confidence to trust that you are going to be okay. My experience at Mayo I think has helped me be here for my grandkids. I'm just so thankful to be here.

March 09, 2021