A self-professed “daddy’s girl,” Laura Thomas was not above using her influence when it came to her dad’s health.

That’s how John Grimes, 66, was scheduled for a heart scan two years ago – that literally saved his life.

A CT tech by trade who works at Decatur County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) as well as Franciscan Health in Indianapolis, Thomas took the liberty of adding her father to the heart screening schedule on a day when she would be working in the CT lab. “He knew he couldn’t get out of it because I was there,” she laughed.

Her concerns were not without reason. Grimes had a history of heart problems, and his father had passed away of a massive heart attack at an early age. “I just wanted to keep him around,” Thomas said.

The screening set into motion additional tests culminating in a heart catheterization that showed his left main artery – better known as “the widow maker” — as 95 percent occluded. A stent placement followed by cardio rehab at DCMH was successful by all definitions, and today Grimes finds staying active much easier with less fatigue and easier breathing.

And, in those two years, his number of grandchildren has grown from two to a total of nine. “He would probably have never seen those two new grandbabies if it hadn’t been for the screening and surgery,” said Thomas.

Grimes is among hundreds of DCMH success stories that have begun with a $25 Heart Scan that is non-invasive, painless, and fast. A state-of-the-art Seimens, 128-slice, low-dose radiation CT Scanner delivers a combination of maximum image quality at a minimum dose for every patient.

A cardiac CT scan for coronary calcium is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the presence, location, and extent of calcified arteries, the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart muscle. This calcified plaque can signal the presence of atherosclerosis, a disease of the vessel also called coronary artery disease (CAD). Individuals with this disease have an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes, and over time, can narrow the arteries or even close off blood flow to the heart – as was the case with Grimes.