"I was taken to the emergency room and I was diagnosed with a ventricle tachycardia and ended up in the ICU. That next day Dr. Ranaweera put a stent in my heart. I owe my life to Dr. Ranaweera and his staff at Heart and Vascular Clinics.
Partnering with HAV Clinics is like dealing with a trusted family member. I cannot begin to express my satisfaction with the staff there. The front desk, nurses, techs, and doctors are all courteous and professional. They always focus on making my visit as comfortable as possible. A caring, smiling and laughing environment is a good atmosphere for patients.
Dr. Ranaweera has that rare, hard-to-find combination of excelling not only as a physician, but also as a compassionate human being. He truly cares and spends time educating and listening to me. He also has the most wonderful bedside manner. He never seems hurried when he sees me and he provides thorough explanations to my questions. I am truly blessed to have found those remarkable qualities of caring and excellence in Dr. Ranaweera."
"I started having trouble with my heart and digestive system. I spent several months visiting hospitals and clinics throughout JC, Topeka, and Kansas City trying to find out what was going on with my body. I was finally referred to Heart and Vascular Clinics in Manhattan. I was amazed that they were able to find a solution for me in just two visits. Dr. Ranaweera was very descriptive with his action plan for my health and made each visit count. I no longer have these issues thanks to Dr. Ranaweera."
"I started having flu like symptoms and just felt run down. I thought this was normal with age but quickly learned that wasn't the case. After visiting with a couple different providers I was referred to Heart and Vascular Clinics. They ran some tests and immediately found some problems. Dr. Ranaweera provided me my treatment options but I wanted to try something different. Instead of open heart bypass surgery, I wanted to see what Dr. Ranaweera could achieve with catheterization treatments. With the help of HAVC and my life style changes, I went from weighing 225 pounds to 185 pounds, from a 46 waist to 36, from a XXXL shirt size to L. My friends and family couldn't believe the transformation. I know the people at HAVC, they care and are interested in me. I have added years to my life thanks to them. Thanks for listening to me Dr. Ranaweera and creating a treatment plan that was more comfortable for me."
"After my initial visit with Dr. Ranaweera and further testing, it was discovered I had Atrial Fibrillation and 90%-100% blocked arteries due to a recent 'silent heart attack.' After my treatment at Heart and Vascular Clinics I feel like I have a new lease on life. I am going through cardiac rehab and I have lost 48 pounds. Dr. Ranaweera has literally made me feel like a new person."
By Emily Porter, Flint Hills Health & Wellness - The Mercury
September 13, 2014 changed Curt Herrman’s life forever. “Everyone always remembers the date, what they were doing when it happened,” Herrman said. His heart attack was unexpected. He has no family history of heart problems and he was regularly weightlifting, yet Herrman still ended up in the emergency room with a heart rate of 220 beats per minute. He still doesn’t refer to it as a heart attack often, though. “It’s just kind of hard to admit that, I guess,” Herrman said. The doctors had to shock him to stabilize his heart, then he spent four days in the intensive care unit. After tests were run, he had a stent put into place.
All his recovery process has been monitored by the Heart and Vascular Clinics in Manhattan. Unlike most other heart patients he knows, Herrman was not sent to the cardiac rehab center at the hospital, but rather given recommendations of dos and don’ts, and ways to change his lifestyle, including his diet.
"The biggest thing for me was giving up salt," he said. "Changing to a healthy diet, it's OK now. I enjoy it now. But I didn't give up everything completely. I love whole milk. I can't give up whole milk; I know you're supposed to drink skim, but I can't." He also had to go from weightlifting to cardio, as his doctor suggested the heavy lifting could put more strain on the heart. Herrman also bought a bicycle, and rides it to and from work, weather permitting.
Over the past two years, he said he has recovered very well, crediting his physician Dr. Priyantha Ranaweera at the HAVC. Herrman’s positivity and Ranaweera’s resources helped initiate a new portion of Herrman’s life.
In October 2016, they began Walking the Heartland, a support group for heart patients, caregivers and significant others, with the help of Eddie Marroquin, also from HAVC. For Herrman, creating a group seemed like his best option for getting all the answers he wanted. “As I was going through (recovery), there are just some things -- doctors and nurses are great, but there are some things they just don’t tell you or that they maybe can’t tell you -- so I just thought it would be nice to have someone to talk to who has been through what I’ve been through,” Herrman said. Although not everyone in the group has the exact same story, they all are there for the same reasons. “Now I have to check that box, ‘Do you have heart disease?’ and, for some reason, it’s just really hard to check that heart disease box,” Herrman said. “But we all had it, we all almost died.” Although the group has only held one meeting thus far, Herrman is eager for the group to continue growing.
There are no formal plans for what the year’s meetings will be, because he hopes the group will continue to grow organically. “I want it to grow, and if, let’s say, the most common theme was the medications or the pharmacies, well then in the next meeting, I’ll bring in a pharmacist from Dillons or something to talk to us about that. Maybe we’ll bring in a nutritionist at some point. We’ll just let it grow to meet the group’s needs,” he said. And while the needs of the group may vary from month to month, Herrman said the most important constant variable in the group should be their attitude. “I want the group to stay totally positive,” he said. “I’m convinced that’s why I recovered so well, because I stayed positive through the whole thing.” Having a group of people who understand the difficulties, can exchange advice and healthy recipes with are all things Herrman hopes group members can gain from joining and attending meetings. “If one of us in the group needs to go have a procedure done, maybe a stent or something, then we can talk as a group and support, and give moral support,” he said.
Herrman runs the group in addition to working as the I.T. director at Community First National Bank and serving as a member of the Manhattan-Ogden school board and the Kansas Association of School Boards. Although he said his wife questioned how he would handle this new responsibility with his little free time, Herrman saw this as just another part of his life. “I just want to help other people, maybe give them a little more confidence; help them live a life to where they’re not living afraid of the unknown. Because there is a difference between the doctor saying you’re going to be fine and someone who has survived 15 years telling you,” he said. Currently, the group has five members, but Herrman wants to put no cap on membership. Meetings are the last Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m. For more information, contact Curt Herrman at 785-410-6846.