Health Plus: Life-saving heart test at Covenant - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Life-saving heart test at Covenant

You could be a heart attack waiting to happen. That was the case for one eastern Iowa man who took a simple test that saved his life.

Brad Morris is used to dealing with siblings--he has six of them.

So when his sister Michelle insisted he get a unique test to check his heart, he agreed.

 "Because of the family history it's always in the back of your mind. But I didn't have any symptoms. I felt fine. So I really didn't think they were going to find anything wrong with me at all," Brad Morris said.

The men in the Waterloo man's family have a history of heart attacks before 60.

So at 58, Brad took his sister's advice to heart.  Why?

Because she's a nuclear medicine technologist at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo.

"The technology is there and we can help people survive another day, another month, another year then that's what we're here for," Michelle Wright said.

The Cardiolite stress test is different from a traditional stress test or EKG in that a radioactive saline solution is injected into your blood--allowing pictures of your heart to be taken that reveal blockages otherwise missed.

Michelle describes the test as a non-invasive cardiac cath with a non-allergic injection that's as safe as a simple x-ray or CAT scan.

"More times than not those EKGs or stress tests look okay, look negative and in Brad's case it did. He walked nine minutes on the treadmill. They thought you're good to go. You're fine. Well then we incorporated the nuclear scan with his test, put him on the camera, did the imaging and saw that his blood protrusion was not okay."

Brad says the test saved his life.

"One of my arteries was 95 percent blocked. It was just a matter of time," he said.

He had three stents put in thanks to a 3-hour test that uncovered what Brad would have never suspected--he had no symptoms.

Ask your doctor to refer you to Covenant Medical Center for the Cardiolite test if you or someone in your family has concerns about their heart.

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