A Silver Spring woman uses an online heart risk assessment to identify a major health problem


Take a Free Heart Risk Assessment

Taking just five minutes to complete Adventist HealthCare’s free heart risk assessment online likely saved the life of Toby Weiss, a 77-year-old Silver Spring resident.

“The test showed me that I had a heart problem and prompted me to see my doctor,” says Weiss, who previously had no known heart issues. The assessment takes into account key risk factors for heart disease such as family history, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity.

A few days earlier, Weiss also experienced nausea and neck pain. Factoring in the assessment results, she began to question her health. A stress test performed by her primary care physician confirmed Weiss had a significant heart problem.

Wanting the Best

Weiss chose to go to Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital and sought treatment from Fayaz Shawl, MD, trusted cardiologist of her husband, Larry. “I wanted to be in the hands of the best,” she says.

On June 9, 2014, Dr. Shawl performed a cardiac catheterization to identify the best treatment to restore blood flow to the heart. “Weiss had two major heart vessels blocked, one being her left main artery, which supplied blood flow to most of her heart muscle,” Dr. Shawl says. “This critical blockage determined that heart surgery was necessary.”

The next day, heart surgeon Kathleen Petro, MD, performed a double bypass. “During coronary bypass surgery, we take a healthy blood vessel from the patient’s leg, arm, abdomen or chest and connect it to other arteries in the heart so that it is bypassed around the blocked area,” Dr. Petro explains. “This helps to restore blood flow to the heart by diverting it around a section of the blocked artery.”

Getting the Best

Says Weiss: “I would definitely recommend Washington Adventist Hospital for heart care. They have wonderful doctors and caring nurses, and the cardiac floor is a fantastic place if you have to be there.”

After a successful procedure, Weiss returned home with further support during her recovery from Adventist HealthCare Home Care Services. This included biweekly visits from registered nurse Cindy Irwin.

“I was so lucky to have Cindy,” Weiss says. “She ordered supplies, spoke to the doctor and helped me adjust my diet. She made me feel at ease. It’s wonderful knowing that I’m going to be OK and live to enjoy my family.”