SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) - The number of patients needing open heart surgery at Springfield Regional Medical Center is on the rise.
Walking and cleaning the halls at Springfield Regional Medical Center is all in a day's work for Roscoe Lester, but on April 3, 2013 he knew something wasn't right.
"I came into work and the back of my ears started to hurt. They've hurt before, but nothing like this," said Lester.
Lester said God told him go and get help.
"I know when I say this a lot of people look at me funny, but I actually heard a voice," said Lester.
It was a decision that saved his life.
Lester found out he had four arteries that were 90% blocked and needed emergency open heart surgery.
According to records 2 NEWS requested, the number of open heart procedures are on the rise at Springfield Regional Medical Center.
In 2011, 177 patients had open heart surgery. That number grew to 183 patients in 2012 and so far in 2013, doctors have performed 166 open heart surgeries.
Dr. Surender Neravetla, Director of Cardiac Surgery, said he expects the end of the year total of open heart surgeries to be higher than last year's.
"People need to follow prevention. Prevention. Unfortunately most people who have heart attacks and heart problems and strokes and heart bypasses hardly follow any precautions," said Dr. Neravetla.
Preventative measures include not smoking and eating healthy.
"People focus a lot on fat and calories, but really the next most important thing to do is to cut back on the salt intake in your diet," said Neravetla.
It's something Lester is now doing. He had a message for those who think just taking medicine is going to keep them off the operating table.
"I have high blood pressure and I am a diabetic and I didn't pay it any mind. When I took my pills, I took them with sweets, iced tea. Can't do it. Can't do it," said Lester.
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