Shannon Watts found the right physician and the right hospital to care for her heart. Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Interventional Cardiologist Muhammad Ahmad, MD and Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Abdulla Attum, MD delivered heart care to help her get back on her feet.

Watts has a family history of heart disease. She says she has always blamed her father for her heart complications.

She is originally from Batesville, Ind., where she first started experiencing signs and symptoms of heart disease.

“The physicians at the Indiana hospital thought my problems were connected to asthma or could have possibly had something to do with diverticulitis,” said Watts. “Then I was treated for acid reflux but nothing seemed to work.”

Watts says she struggled with shortness of breath.

“I was in and out of the hospital so much,” she said. “I felt like the nurses in the emergency department knew me by name. I had shortness of breath to the point it really felt like someone was taking their hands around my neck and just suffocating me.”

She says she finally got results from her physicians at PMC.

Moving to Pikeville was a blessing, according to Watts.

“Dr. Ahmad told me he was going to assume the worst and work his way up from there, and he got it,” she said. “He really got it. He is a wonderful doctor.”

He performed a heart cath on Watts and the same evening Dr. Attum came in to inform her she needed open heart surgery.

Watts says her heart issues were actually tied to her diabetes.

“I was developing calcium where most patients with heart disease develop plaque and that was the source of my problems,” she said.

Watts says PMC is a great hospital and all her doctors and the staff paid close attention to her. They were dedicated to getting her well.

She said, “I recall a conversation with Dr. Attum before my surgery. He asked me how I felt. He wanted to know if I would like to feel better and be able to breathe. He told me he could make that happen for me.”

After Watts had her surgery she had a follow-up conversation with Dr. Attum.

“He looked at me and asked if he delivered what he had promised. I told him it was like a miracle. He delivered on his promise and more,” she said.

Watts says her situation was awful but after her surgery she finally got relief.

“I don’t have shortness of breath anymore and I feel so much better,” she said. “I am really thankful that I moved to Pikeville, found PMC and my doctors. I am blessed.”

For information about heart disease or Pikeville Medical Center Heart and Vascular Institute call 606-218-2201.