After heart surgery, father walks daughter down the aisle

When Jim Eiler found out he had a family history of high cholesterol, he knew he had to do more to take care of his health. The devoted father of four started eating better and playing tennis several times a week.

But one day, he began having difficulty finishing a tennis match. He noticed he was short of breath and had begun falling asleep at work. His wife Brookes convinced him to see a doctor. After a few tests, they learned Jim had coronary artery disease with five blockages in his heart.

He needed bypass surgery, but with just a month until his only daughter’s wedding, Jim wanted to wait. His first thought was, My daughter is getting married. Can’t we do this later?

But before caring for his daughter’s heart, he had to care for his own.

At Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital – Dallas, Jim had quintuple bypass surgery, a procedure to restore blood flow to the heart muscle. He was determined to not let heart disease or this surgery slow him down.

“My motivation was to walk my only daughter down the aisle,” he said.

Jim made it his goal to walk as much as he could during his recovery in the hospital, using motivational music to give him that extra push.

“Explore."

“I had a joy about me,” said Jim. “The nurses were genuinely interested in my recovery and well-being. It was a spiritual experience.”

“God took care of me,” Jim said. “I could tell he was with me. Being able to be with my daughter at that time was just such a joy. It was a special time.”

With his health back on track, Jim had one last milestone to accomplish — he walked arm-in-arm with his daughter on her wedding day.

“God took care of me,” Jim said. “I could tell he was with me. Being able to be with my daughter at that time was just such a joy. It was a special time.”

After completing cardiac rehab, Jim is now back to playing tennis several times a week, and his cholesterol is the lowest it has been in 15 years.

How healthy is your heart? Test your ticker today.

About the author

Amanda Shoultz
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Amanda is the Marketing and Public Relations Consultant at Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital in Dallas and Fort Worth and a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a degree in Marketing. As Marketing and Public Relations Consultant, she specializes in sharing the stories of patients, caregivers, and advanced treatments at Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital.

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After heart surgery, father walks daughter down the aisle