By Nancy E. Hansen

My family's connection to Edward Hospital began around 1970 when we moved to Naperville. But it wasn't a good relationship—for years, we would travel to neighboring towns for our healthcare.

Fast forward to 2005 when my parents Charles and Marilyn Kayton bought a condo at RiverPlace—just a few blocks from Edward's campus—so they would have convenient access to their doctors and the hospital.

Over the years, Edward had transformed from a place that my family avoided, to a place they wanted and needed to be close to. My parents both have heart issues and have been in and out of Edward Hospital several times. We appreciate having such top notch cardiac care available right in Naperville.

I live in Geneva so Edward was just mom and dad's hospital until 2013 when, while on vacation in rural Illinois, my husband Jim's heart rate shot up to 220. He ignored the pounding in his chest for eight hours and went swimming and hiking with our kids before finally telling me he needed to get to an emergency room late that night.

They realized they needed to act quickly not long after we arrived at the small town emergency room. Two rounds of IV attempts to bring down his heart rate failed. I saw panic on the doctor's face. They put Jim under and shocked him to temporarily stop his heart, but when it started again, his heart rate went back up over 200. They shocked him a second time, and finally success—his heart rate was back to normal.

We thought the crisis had passed, but the next morning the results of a blood test gave the doctors reason to believe they needed to get Jim into a cardiac cath lab immediately to prevent any further damage. They asked for permission to transport him to Peoria or Springfield. I immediately said no, I wanted him at Edward. Jim agreed.

On the way to Edward, there was a feeling of panic in the air and the EMT who was monitoring Jim said, "Your heart is unstable. You're going right to the cath lab when you get there."

When we got to Edward, the panic disappeared thanks to Dr. Tim Larkin of Midwest Heart Specialists. He was the cardiologist on call that Sunday and confidently told the nurse, "Call down and close up the cath lab. We don't need it today."

Dr. Matthew Nora, a cardiac electrophysiologist from DuPage Medical Group, diagnosed Jim with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). He explained the results of the blood test that had caused panic at the rural hospital. Doctors were calm and confident—they had seen and treated this before. The crisis was over and we had Edward physicians and staff to thank.

It's funny to think that we avoided Edward in 1970, and in 2016, my family was driving from our home in Geneva to Naperville to receive our care there.

Edward is an incredible facility with incredible staff, and my husband and I want to make sure it stays that way. So, when we updated our will last year, we added the Edward Foundation as a beneficiary. It just felt like the right thing to do.

Leave an Impact at Edward
Has Edward Hospital made a difference in your family's life? For more information on how you can thank them with a gift in your estate plan, please contact Brett Skeen at 630-527-5956 or Brett.Skeen@EEHealth.org.