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Las Vegas resident attributes surgeon for saving his life

Kelly Zeh
Posted on: 11/20/2020

As fragile as life is, no one is ever fully-prepared for the worst diagnosis. Kelly Zeh, a former advertising executive and longtime resident of Las Vegas, thought he would be back home after a routine test last July at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center.

Zeh, a kidney cancer patient, was expecting a simple procedure to determine whether he would be approved for a kidney transplant. As fate would have it, he faced a more serious issue after a routine angiogram found a blocked blood vessel in his heart. Diagnosis? Coronary artery disease. Time was not on Zeh’s side: if he did not receive emergency surgery, he would likely have 30 days to live. 

Compassion never takes a holiday

Admitted and moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, Zeh was placed into the care of Timothy Hamilton, MD, a board-certified cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at Nevada Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute. Dr. Hamilton paid Zeh a late evening visit for the hospital consultation. “I could not believe he (Dr. Hamilton) was still working at that hour, especially the day before the Fourth of July holiday,” said Zeh. “This is my life, it’s what I do,” Hamilton shared with Zeh. 

“Dr. Hamilton actually cancelled a trip to do my surgery,” said Zeh. “He moved me to the top of the list to make sure I was taken care of.” According to Hamilton, Zeh needed coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), more commonly known as heart bypass surgery. The surgery treats and prevents symptoms of coronary artery disease including; irregular heartbeat, angina or chest pain, shortness of breath and can also prevent a heart attack. 

“This procedure requires a blood vessel or graft from another area of the body, typically the leg or arm, to attach to the aorta and the area below the blockage to provide a new route for blood to travel,” explained Hamilton. 

Care that was ‘off the charts’

It’s been more than a year since Zeh spent 11 days in the cardiac ICU at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center. With a new lease on life. Zeh attributes his health and recovery to Hamilton and thanks him for saving his life. “The care I received from the entire Sunrise Hospital team was off the charts,” Zeh shared. “I am eternally grateful to Dr. Hamilton and his entire staff.”

About Nevada Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute:

Nevada Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute is part of Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center and HCA Healthcare, one of the most integrated healthcare networks with 32 access points to serve the Southern Nevada community.  At the forefront of heart and lung surgical care, the practice, conveniently located on the campus of the campus of the hospital, is committed to providing treatment for many cardiac, thoracic and vascular conditions cardiovascular disease and lung cancer. For more information visit:  Nevada Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute or call the practice at (702) 962-0000.

Kelly Zeh
Posted on: 11/20/2020

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