Norm’s Story: Staying Ahead Of Heart Disease 

Norm Magoto’s father died of a heart attack at age 70. Norm, an 81-year old resident of Centerville, is making sure his heart is functioning – and he does this by being faithful with regular cardiovascular care. Norm has never had a heart attack but has heart problems. He makes sure his heart gets the attention it needs.

When Norm was working at NCR, where he served 18-years as a machinist and job foreman, he was a member of their blood donors association. In the early 70s, a nurse working in that program noticed he had an irregular heartbeat and Norm got it checked out at his family doctor.

But Norm’s cardiovascular problems increased and he started going to Premier Cardiovascular Institute, part of Premier Physician Network (PPN), where Ahmad Abdul-Karim, MD began to carefully monitor Norm’s cardiovascular functions.

As the years went by, in addition to atrial fibrillation, an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow to the body, Norm’s cardiovascular problems have included high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Dr. Abdul-Karim works closely with Norm on the proper medications to manage his heart conditions.

“In 2011, I felt a tightness in my chest and a little trouble breathing,” Norm recalls. It was determined that Norm had blockage in an artery so a coronary stent and angioplasty were used to improve blood flow to his heart.

“Dr. Karim keeps my heart healthy and takes care of new problems if they arise,” Norm says matter-of-factly. Now he also has sleep apnea and at night uses a CPAP (“continuous positive airway pressure”) machine to receive steady air pressure for proper breathing.

Norm, who has been retired since 1999, ending his career with 26 years as an electronic assembler at Monarch Marking Systems, is enjoying life with his wife, Patricia, two kids, and three grandkids.

“I’m doing fine,” he says. “Dr. Karim and the staff keep me closely monitored. As far as I’m concerned, he’s pretty thorough and a nice guy.”

Every year, Norm has a stress test as part of his physical. Once a month, he goes to Premier Cardiovascular Institutes for a Prothrombin time test, also known as a pro time test, which checks the ability of the blood to clot.

Norm says that especially because he’s in the office once a month, he’s appreciative of the staff at Premier Cardiovascular Institute. “Heather the receptionist is so nice to me,” he says. “Diane or Belinda do the pro time test. I call them my favorite vampires,” he adds with a chuckle. “I have a positive attitude about taking care of my heart and these people help me keep that positive attitude.”