SHERIDAN — Larry Shuttlesworth didn’t have plans to come to Sheridan last Thursday, but he’s certainly glad he ended up here. He was flown to Sheridan Memorial Hospital from Riverton and treated in the cardiac catheterization lab for a heart condition.
Larry and his wife, Sharon, live on a farm in Missouri Valley — an area between Riverton and Shoshoni. March 11 Shuttlesworth started feeling dizzy and ill.
“I had an overwhelming feeling, I really thought I was dying,” he said.
His wife sat with him for a while and when he got up again, he felt worse and told her he should probably go to the hospital.
Shuttlesworth was joined in Riverton by his family.
The doctor at the hospital in Riverton said Shuttlesworth needed to see a cardiologist and typically heart patients in Riverton are flown to Casper.
However, Wyoming Medical Center in Casper was full and diverting patients to other facilities. Shuttlesworth was then given a choice to fly to Cheyenne or Billings, but Shuttlesworth’s daughter Renee’ Obermueller mentioned the new cath lab facilities at Sheridan Memorial Hospital and asked if he could be flown to Sheridan instead since he has family here.
On March 14, Dr. Michael Brennan, a cardiologist with Big Horn Heart Center in Sheridan was consulted and decided SMH could care for Shuttlesworth. SMH staff members prepared for his arrival, greeting him just 35 minutes later.
Shuttlesworth has a condition called ventricular tachycardia, or a fast heartbeat. If uncontrolled, it can be life threatening.
Shuttlesworth received an angiogram, a catheterization procedure which allows the physician to look at blood flow in the arteries and the heart. In Shuttlesworth’s case, no blockage was found. He has a problem with electrical impulses in his heart and will now be taking medication to control the problem.
Shuttlesworth said he was able to watch the whole procedure while the doctor explained everything.
“This is a state-of-the-art facility, the cath lab is incredible,” he said.
Shuttlesworth’s daughter Shelley Henry was surprised with the level of communication and contact they had with Brennan throughout their experience.
“What was very impressive to me was the doctor came in to see him at least twice even before we got here. And the follow-up communication was really helpful,” she said.
“I believe this is definitely the first time we’ve had a patient actually flown in to Sheridan,” Brennan said. “It’s great that we were able to treat him here.”
Shuttlesworth said he feels fortunate to be receiving care in Sheridan where he can be close to much of his family and said he’s proud that his granddaughter, Haley Obermueller, is a new certified nursing assistant in training in the emergency department.
“My family followed me ‘en masse’ to Sheridan,” he said with a chuckle.
Shuttlesworth was released from the hospital the following day.
The cath lab at Sheridan Memorial Hospital opened in January.