MD Insider is a new medical series, featured quarterly in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Covering a variety of health topics, MD Insidertakes a closer look at our outstanding programs and the medical experts who lead them. The second installment features patient Lynwood Battle's inspiring story about developing heart failure at a young age, and how his relationship with our heart and vascular helped him change his life.
MD Insider: Overcoming a Life-Threatening Heart Condition
Lynwood Battle has never met a stranger. Maybe it’s his smiling eyes or the calm, thoughtful way he speaks that makes him so likeable. Or maybe it’s his engaging manner and humble, grateful attitude.
Just ask him and he’ll tell you every moment he has is a gift. He’s got that glass-half-full outlook, but it stems from a purely harrowing experience more than two decades ago.
Lynwood was young and healthy. Despite being a little overweight he led an almost storied life. He graduated from The Ohio State University, where he played sousaphone in the marching band and even dotted the “i” in “Ohio.” He earned two Bronze Star Medals in the military. His careers with Procter & Gamble and his family’s mortuary service were exceedingly noteworthy, as was his relentless devotion to his community.
Then one day everything changed.
Lynwood’s heart malfunctioned. He developed heart failure, where the heart muscle becomes weakened and loses its ability to pump enough blood to supply the body’s needs. Doctors believe his heart failure was triggered by a viral infection.
Heart failure affects over 5 million Americans, is one of the fastest-growing heart issues, and is the leading cause of hospitalization in people over age 65.
But Lynwood wasn’t 65. Not even close.
“I really didn’t know what was in my future,” Lynwood said. So he brought his concerns to Dr. Edward J. Schloss at The Christ Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Center.
“Dr. Schloss said, ‘We’ll take care of you,’ and I trusted that they would – and they did,” Lynwood said. With a name like Battle, he was ready for a fight.
Lynwood began a regimen of medications – a heart failure cocktail – and attended patient education classes. Dr. Schloss put in an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, which shocks the heart back into normal rhythm during life-threatening situations. Lynwood credits that ICD for saving his life many times.
“I call it my bionic buddy,” Lynwood laughed. “It has fired appropriately a number of times, and if it hadn’t, well, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Lynwood also found a friend and advocate in heart failure specialist Dr. Gregory Egnaczyk. Dr. Egnaczyk reduced Lynwood’s medications and referred him to Cardiac Rehab, where he exercises with the safety net of medical professionals on-site.
“When I can’t get in there, I feel there’s something missing from my day,” Lynwood said.
He’s lost 100 pounds, now manages his diabetes strictly through diet and exercise, and has reduced the level of his CPAP machine for sleep apnea.
Heart Failure Specialists:
- Eugene S. Chung, MD
- Greg Egnaczyk, MD
- Santosh R. Menon, MD
- Thomas O'Brien, MD
Call 513-206-1180 for an appointment or visit TheChristHospital.com/Heart for more information.