Carter BloodCare donors have big hearts. They give of themselves so that someone else has a chance at life. They do so anonymously and without expectation of recognition or reward for people they do not know, who rely on that precious gift of life. And sometimes, simply by being a consistent blood donor, the life you save may be your own.
“I have donated blood for more years than I can remember, (I am) a multi-gallon donor,” said Ken Giese. This last drive I was rejected because the [phlebotomist] detected a heart rhythm abnormality. I seldom listen to my pulse; and low and behold, every three or four beats it’d skip a beat,” he shared.
Giese elaborated to say that he has exercised all of his life, currently takes no medications and he received a clean bill of health (and heart) eight months ago at his annual doctor visit.
“I wasn’t upset about [not being able to donate] at the drive that day, but I was understandably concerned about my heart. Long story short, after multiple doctor visits, a successful stress test, EKGs, and wearing a halter (heart) monitor for 24 hours, my now cardiologist diagnosed ‘A-fib’ and started me on medication to control my heart rhythm and a blood thinner. I’m one of these folks with no symptoms walking around at high risk of a stroke!” Atrial fibrillation, also referred to as AFib, is an irregular heartbeat that can include heart-related complications including stroke, blood clots or heart failure. According to the American Heart Association at least 2.7 million Americans are living with AFib.
At our last visit with Mr. Giese he said that his cardiologist indicated that because of his good health he could undergo a procedure called cardiac ablation surgery rather than take medication the rest of his life.
“Sign me up! I’ve been referred to a surgeon who specializes in this. It is non-invasive surgery going into the heart through the groin and neck to zap the impulse blockers to get the signal back on track permanently,” said Giese. “My doctor said some [people] just develop this due to age no matter how healthy they are.”
He says after his surgery to “get his heart’s signal back on track permanently,” Mr. Giese will be back to donating blood.
“I see healthy people get a stroke out of nowhere. I am told this is an early discovery enhancing successful treatment. Carter certainly deserves some KUDOS. Thank you for your service. I am living testimony if I wasn’t a blood donor I wouldn’t be aware of my high risk for a stroke. Thanks again!”