greenville, patient testimonial, emergency services

Emergency Procedure Quickly Gets Mark Back to Breathing Normally

Jun 27 2024

Breathing is something we don’t often think about, but its role in keeping us alive is paramount. That’s why Mark Steenerson, DC, knew he had to get to the hospital right away.

“I was having severe shortness of breath and severe fatigue. That’s what finally made me decide to go in,” he recalled. “I couldn’t go and get a drink of water. I couldn’t get any oxygen. I was trying to cough something up, but I couldn’t get anything up.”

Turns out, Mark was suffering from pulmonary emboli, or sudden blockages in the pulmonary arteries that stop blood flow to the lungs. They can be life-threatening without treatment, but in this case, Mark’s decision to go to the hospital led to a quick diagnosis and speedy recovery.

“Within minutes of his arrival, the emergency room staff had him undergo the most important test – a special type of CT scan that evaluates the arteries of the lungs – and that showed extensive blood clots,” explained Michael Ludkowski, MD, the interventional radiologist who was called in to help with Mark’s case. “He underwent a successful pulmonary artery thrombectomy and the next morning was discharged home, breathing comfortably – less than 24 hours after his arrival to the emergency department.”

It was a much different experience than Mark’s first experience with a pulmonary embolism, which took place while he was living up north nearly a decade ago.

“When I had clots 10 years ago, all they did was get me some blood thinners. This time, Dr. Ludkowski went in and extracted those clots with that procedure, which is pretty amazing.”

Today, Mark is feeling much better, and he’s grateful for the care he received at Bon Secours.

“I was in critical shape with my lungs, so I went in and they got me right in, which was wonderful. I expected to be there for a while, but no. They got me back right away and the doctor did a really good job of explaining what the procedure was. He’s just one of those people who communicates really well and puts you at ease, because it was obviously very life-threatening at the time,” recalled Mark. “I’m very pleased with my experience, and the doctor was able to go in and extract a lot of those clots out of my lungs. It basically saved my life as far as I’m concerned.”

Learn about the emergency services we offer at Bon Secours.

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