Midland mother grateful for heart care from local medical center


Lindsey Read-Smith, a lawyer and small business owner in Shepherd, had a smooth pregnancy and delivery with her first child, so she had no reason to expect the second to be any different. Immediately after the birth of a healthy daughter; however, she felt anxious when she tried to lie down and could not sleep; she knew something was wrong.

After an emergency CT scan, Read-Smith was diagnosed with systolic heart failure, which occurs when the heart’s left ventricle cannot fully contract. The next day, she had a heart attack in the hospital.

Thanks to the prompt action of the staff at MidMichigan Medical Center – Midland and the subsequent care she received at the MidMichigan Heart Failure Clinic, Read-Smith is once again able to do whatever she wants for her. – even and her children.

Looking back, Read-Smith can now identify the signs of a heart problem she had wrongly attributed to her pregnancy.

“I felt very tired and sometimes had dizziness,” she said. “I even started losing weight as I approached my due date. I also had gestational diabetes, so I just didn’t think about my heart.

Read-Smith’s analysis showed that his left ventricle was dangerously enlarged and was only functioning at 22%. Cardiologist and heart failure specialist Jeffrey Martindale has announced that she is suffering from heart failure.

“It was the worst news of my life,” she recalls. “I felt a deep sense of unhappiness thinking that my children would grow up without a mother. But Dr Martindale didn’t let me stay in that headspace for too long. He told me I was fine and I trusted him. He didn’t let me down.

The heart attack precipitated a thrombectomy to remove the clots and help restore blood flow to and through her heart. Nurses did all they could to keep Read-Smith close to his daughter during these critical first days while keeping them safe.

“My nurse went with me from maternity to progressive care,” she said. “It meant a lot.” Read-Smith’s mother took an active role with the baby so that she could heal and rest without sacrificing bonding time. “My mom was, and is, amazing.”

Read-Smith came out with a Life Vest defibrillator to help protect against recurring short-term issues and was back to work in six weeks. Six months later, a defibrillator was implanted by the electrophysiologist Opesanmi Esan, along with prescribed visits to the heart failure clinic to manage his condition. Read-Smith continued to visit Dr Martindale in the clinic for medical treatment as directed and ongoing monitoring. Today, his left ventricular ejection fraction, which measures how efficiently the heart pumps blood, has dropped from 22% to 45%.

“I cannot say enough about the care I have received and continue to receive,” she said. “My obstetrician, Dr Sandeep Rao, Dr Martindale, the nurses in the OB and the surgical intensive care unit – were all phenomenal. Today I can meet suppliers in person or virtually, so it’s easy to stay on top of things. I never feel rushed; they answer all my questions. I feel connected.

Read-Smith continues to monitor his blood pressure and has spent six months in the clinic. She follows a vegetarian diet and stays active by hiking, snowshoeing and shopping with friends. She works hard in the office and in business and feels good. She is also able to follow her children.

“You know, I walked past other facilities on my way to MidMichigan in Midland,” she said. “I don’t intend to change this.”

For more information on MidMichigan Health’s Heart Failure Clinic, visit www.midmichigan.org/heartfailureclinic. To learn more about Martindale, visit www.midmichigan.org/martindale.


Leave A Reply