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Reduce Your Risk: Randy's Ride

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BATON ROUGE - Someone in the United States is killed by heart disease every 39 seconds. A Clinton man and his wife are dreaming of a great retirement adventure, but it almost turned into a great tragedy when he had a brush with heart disease.

Randy Russell has a history of heart disease. His father died of a massive heart attack. All of his brothers have heart problems. Randy has even had heart bypass surgery. He also underwent a trans-radial heart catheterization. Most are done through the groin, but his went through the wrist.

Dr. Charles Thompson inserts a catheter and guides it through Randy's veins to take a look at his heart. He notices a problem: a vein used as graph in Randy's bypass operation is 99% blocked. Dr. Thompson inserts a balloon and a stent to open up the vessel.

"We've totally fixed this vessel," he told News 2's John Pastorek. "There's always a small change that it will clot or have a problem, but that's just random acts."

Randy could have been the victim of a disease that kills more than 10,000 men and women in Louisian each year. Many could be prevented if victims listened to their bodies and did not ignore symptoms.

"The biggest tragedy about heart disease is that 99% of people...die within 45 of the onset of pain," Dr. Thompson explains. "The average person waits 12 hours to come to the hospital."

Randy did not wait. He listened to his body. That means he can still shine up his harley and get ready for his great adventure to the West Coast.

Watch the video to learn more about Randy Russell's story, and 2une In on Wednesday for another heart disease survival story in Part Two of Reduce Your Risk.



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