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In the Heart of the Community: Hammond Native Receives Lifesaving Care

In the Heart of the Community: Hammond Native Receives Lifesaving Care

When life threw Hammond resident Gene Pregeant a curveball, lifesaving care was just around the corner.

Gene endured a massive heart attack that required quadruple bypass surgery.

“He was in heart failure and needed surgery immediately,” reveals North Oaks Cardiologist Dr. Bruce Ennis.

With innovative technology at hand, Dr. Ennis took immediate action by implanting an Impella® heart pump to allow Gene’s heart to rest while he and the North Oaks cardiovascular team worked diligently to stabilize him before surgery.

“Impella essentially helps your heart rest by maintaining blood flow. Without this kind of supportive technology, high-risk procedures could present more difficulties,” expresses Dr. Ennis.

Gene, compliance officer for Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) and Hammond native, understands the severity of his heart attack and explains that he is beyond grateful for the lifesaving technology and care provided by the North Oaks staff.

“My experience at North Oaks was A+,” Gene noted. “Shortly after I was released, my church pastor asked me to speak to my church congregation about an experience where the face of God was working in my life through other people. I shared my story with them because I know the face of God was working through my medical team.”

As a graduate of SLU and alumnus of SLU fraternity, Delta Tau Delta (Delt), Gene found comfort in his hometown hospital.

“Everyone was outstanding and as committed to my recovery as I was. Many of my fellow Delt brothers checked in on me and even one of the guys that was transporting me was a part of my fraternity, so the sense of a tight-knit community within the health system helped ease my mind.”

Understanding that he is a walking miracle, Gene’s outlook on life is an inspiration.

“I’m happy and settled. My brother asked me how I was emotionally, and I said that I had never felt this calm and at peace in my life. I used to always be a stressed person, but ironically, I haven’t been since my procedure. Right now, I’m doing everything I can to just enjoy life.”

Currently on the road to retirement, Gene appreciates not having to be transferred out of the area for comprehensive cardiac emergency care.

“You can go to the finest hospital in the world, but if you don’t know the people taking care of you and don’t have the community around you, it’s not worth it. North Oaks is a great community hospital. You won’t find better care anywhere else,” affirms Gene.