Hollywood man undergoes quintuple bypass

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – According to the American Heart Association, there are at least 240,000 coronary artery bypass surgeries performed every year.

One of the most complex open heart procedures involves all of the major arteries that feed the heart.

Jonathan Harvey has always been health conscious and had hoped to avoid his father’s fate.

“My father had a quadruple bypass when he was 50 and another quadruple bypass when he was 62 and we attributed that to being a chain smoker all those years,” Harvey said.

For all of his efforts, Harvey, just 56 years old, developed heart problems that ultimately led to the need for invasive surgery to address the massive blockages in his heart.

“I think the thing that was most concerning and a little unique about Mr. Harvey’s case was that he had just kind of, in the recent past, been stented for his coronary artery disease and despite that, in a very quick period of time, he developed progressive coronary artery disease to the point where he was getting symptoms even at rest,” said Dr. Michael Cortelli, Chief of Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute, a part of the Memorial Healthcare System.

It led to the need for a lengthy quintuple bypass procedure.

“It’s a longer time you’re keeping the heart arrested and not moving and keeping the patient on the heart bypass machine so we try to minimize that time as much as possible. The more bypasses you do and the longer it takes, that can have deleterious effects on the patients’ recovery,” Cortelli said.

It’s been a long road back for Harvey.

Recovery meant spending several days every week in physical therapy.

“I try to take, don’t take one day for granted and hope that I meet that 10 to 12 year average. I do not want to go through this again,” he said.

The estimated life expectancy after a major surgery like this is up to 18 years and patients need ongoing medication and monitoring.

About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.