A simple calcium test saved her husband’s life

June 4, 2014 was Betty and Kenneth’s 37th wedding anniversary. It was a special day for more than one reason.

Eight months ago, the Fergusons had just moved into a Denton retirement community from Waco, and Kenneth had his first visit with a new physician. A stress test was ordered by the physician. Betty decided to go along because her husband was a smoker and didn’t exercise.

For the past four years, he had been complaining about being tired, and his family had a history of heart disease. Betty had some concerns.

In spite of his smoking history and lack of exercise, Kenneth passed the stress test. But, Betty wasn’t totally convinced because an acquaintance at her wood-working group shared with her that he passed his stress test, too.

Luckily for Betty’s friend, his physician went the extra mile and ordered further testing. Those tests revealed blockages, and this gentleman underwent triple bypass surgery.

Kenneth passed the cardiac stress test. With her friend’s advice in mind, Betty asked the cardiologist, “What’s the next step?”

He immediately ordered a calcium test on the 256-slice CT scan. Kenneth quickly learned his calcium score was 2,188, compared to a normal score of 100 or less.

“Explore."

Physicians consider 400 a high score.

Three weeks later, Kenneth underwent double bypass surgery at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano since the surgical suite at The Heart Hospital Baylor Denton was being renovated. According to Steve Mottl, D.O., the medical director of non-invasive cardiology at The Heart Hospital Baylor Denton, the calcium score test had revealed extensive coronary atherosclerosis in all three of his major arteries.

On his 37th wedding anniversary, Kenneth is no longer a smoker, and has energy again.

“I feel like I got my husband back. We strongly believe that CT scan test saved his life,” said Betty, “We have told everyone we know to discuss with their physician whether a scan is right for them.”

Betty and Kenneth shared their story with City of Denton’s cable TV. Kenneth was the first patient tested on the 256-slice CT scan at The Heart Hospital Baylor Denton.

Watch the story below:

About the author

Susan Hall
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Susan joined Baylor many years ago when Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas was the only Baylor facility in the area. When not at work, she’s outside – Big Bend National Park is her favorite with Glacier National Park a close second.

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A simple calcium test saved her husband’s life