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1795 Highway 64 East
Anamosa, IA 52205

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153 Collins Road Northeast
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

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1940 Blairs Ferry Rd.
Hiawatha, IA 52233

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2992 7th Avenue
Marion, IA 52302

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Patient Story: Wesley's Heart Care Journey

by -


Wesley's story shared by his mom, Lori.

January 3rd, 2018 was the first day back to school following Christmas break. Wesley completed his cattle chores, proceeded to get ready for school and was soon on the road commuting to Vinton-Shellsburg High School. His day was going well until after lunch as he was sitting in class, he began to feel his upper body become numb and his heart began to pound in his chest and he was starting to feel faint.

Wesley went to the school office where his blood pressure and pulse were obtained. I received a call from the school secretary as she informed me of Wesley’s symptoms, his blood pressure and his abnormal pulse. The secretary also informed me that Wes appeared worried and that he seldom visits the school office, so for him to be there was concerning. The first thought that came to my mind was that Wesley’s heart murmur was back. When he was younger, he was diagnosed with the murmur but he later outgrew it. 

 Wesley as he enjoys raising
his calves.

I immediately left work and drove to Vinton to pick up Wes. As I was leaving Cedar Rapids, I called UnityPoint Clinic  Family Medicine - Shellsburg to request an appointment for him. After I explained the situation to Kyla Schminke, PSR, she told me that Wes could be seen at 2pm and to bring him to the office after I pick him up from school. Julie Hoffmann, ARNP, is his PCP, however on this date, Beth Meyer, ARNP, was seeing patients at the clinic. After receiving the small town, rural clinic welcome, Wes was evaluated by Beth and an EKG, holter monitor and labs were soon ordered.

Following Wes’ appointment with Beth, Dr. Dilli Bhurtel’s office called requesting to see him. While this can be alarming to hear from a pediatric cardiologist, this was also reassuring. My husband, Chris and I agreed that the expert confirmation by the cardiologist was warranted.

Dr. Bhurtel’s office was very accommodating and informed us that he would like to order an ECHO prior to the appointment. Following the ECHO, Michaela greeted us at the Pediatric Cardiology office. Wes was taken to the exam room where Dr. Bhurtel’s nurse, Hope, proceeded to ask about his symptoms and gather past medical and family histories. Michaela then proceeded with performing another EKG on Wes. Dr. Bhurtel then introduced himself to us. He was then immediately focused on Wes and asking him questions. After the physical exam, Dr. Bhurtel took us to a consult room where the four of us sat around a table. He showed us the model of the heart and explained the function. He then elaborated on Wes’ EKG, ECHO, holter monitor and lab results which were all were normal.

"I am so fortunate to work in a small town clinic but also to have the resources available to me to send my patients on to a specialist when needed. The speed at which we were able to get him set up with cardiology and the care that he received speaks volumes to our commitment to our patients as a whole health care system at the clinic level as well as the specialty level.” –Beth Meyer, ARNP

 Wesley and his brother Caleb
on the first day of school
with our outdoor
Husky-Malamute puppy Gibby

After 40 minutes with Dr. Bhurtel, our questions were answered, education had been provided, and we felt relieved to know that Wes’ heart was functioning appropriately. We felt as if we were the priority during our visit as the staff and Dr. Bhurtel were accommodating and well prepared for Wes’ appointment, showed respect, listened and spent adequate time answering our questions.

Our family and community is blessed to have Dr. Bhurtel providing great cardiac care to our pediatric patient population. Thank you UnityPoint Health Family Medicine - Shellsburg & UnityPoint Clinic - Pediatric Caridology for your collaboration, providing high-quality care, and exceeding patient experience and outcomes!