Getting to the root of the problem with Mon Health — John’s story

John Ellis has spent much of his adult life working in the power industry, which has involved lots of ladder climbing, spending time in ash or coal dust filled spaces, and plenty of hard work. 

For many years, Ellis has experienced respiratory issues and would come down with bronchitis twice each year. Being a hard worker, he often pushed through his breathing issues. He visited a few healthcare providers that each gave him an inhaler and some steroids, which would ease his symptoms for about three weeks, before he would go back to breathing poorly and coughing.  

It wasn’t until he went to see providers at Mon Health, that he started getting to the root of his health problems. 

“In December, I went to Mon Health and saw a doctor and asked for an inhaler and steroids so I could push through another three weeks. After a follow-up, my doctor told me that I wasn’t better and she wanted me to see a pulmonologist and get a few tests,” said Ellis. “She called me on a Friday night and had scheduled me for an echocardiogram, which I was hesitant about going as it conflicted with my schedule, but she insisted, so I went.”  

After going in for his echocardiogram in January, Ellis was admitted overnight into thehospital. 

He needed a stent placed in his heart to increase blood flow. In February, he had a cardiac catheterization, and then in April after he had healed from these procedures, Ellis met with Mon Health’s cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Alexander Nagy to prepare for open heart surgery. 

“From thinking I just had respiratory issues to needing open heart surgery was a lot to take in, but Dr. Nagy and his team took great care of me for this procedure. I had nurses checking in on me constantly and answering every question they could, and if they couldn’t answer my question, they would call the doctor to speak with me personally,” said Ellis. “They also sat down with my wife to go over both procedure and recovery, so that we both knew what we were getting into. I am thankful that they had good interest in me and focused on family support.”  

Ellis is now regularly going to rehab and has been taking care of himself during recovery, with the help of his wife of 36 years. He also encourages those who might not be getting the answers that they need regarding their health to be their own advocate and keep digging. 

“I’m feeling so much better. There was certainly pain involved in this process, but everyone at Mon Health was confident and positive that this procedure would be successful, and that has  helped me throughout my recovery. I’m certainly thankful for my lovely wife, and for my faith in Jesus, because without them, I would not be recovering so well,” said Ellis.  

“I would also like to add that it’s important for people to be their own advocate in their healthcare. I had a hard time breathing for a long time and just pushed through. My providers at Mon Health helped me find out that the real problem was with my heart, so it was a good idea for me to keep digging to find the answers to my health problems.”