Help for His Heart, Close to Home

Ray Simonds

Ray Simonds is your prototypical local boy. He went to elementary school in Fairfield and graduated from Armijo High School. In FFA, he raised cattle and sheep and showed them off at the Solano County Fair. After college, he invested his business locally and he sunk his family’s roots deep into the community.

So it only made sense to him to have major heart surgery right here in his hometown.

Lugging a box one weekend in April this year, the 72-year-old real estate appraiser felt the classic sign of a heart attack—chest pain. At NorthBay Medical Center he learned major heart surgery was the best option to clear a four-way obstruction.

After he mentioned he heard good things about the cutting-edge “beating heart” surgery being done in a hospital in another county, he learned he could do the same right here, close to home. In fact, the same surgeon—Dr. Ramzi Deeik—would probably be the surgeon at either place.

Sonya Grant coaches Ray Simonds through his routine.NorthBay Heart & Vascular Center’s team of heart surgeons specializes in the “beating heart” procedure— mending the heart without stopping it. Such a measure not only limits the risk of infection, it also has been shown to reduce recovery time. Ray also discovered his surgery would be done in a much newer, more sophisticated cardiovascular surgery suite in the Fairfield hospital.

Ray got to stay close to home to have the surgeons he wanted and the procedure done the way he thought best.

Three months later, Ray bid a fond farewell to the cardiopulmonary rehab staff in NorthBay Medical Center. When he graduated from his post-surgery recuperative regimen, a 12–week course of therapy, he was feeling as good, or better, than he did before major heart surgery.

“It’s been real good,” he says of his treatment, especially the rehab work. “The gals here keep an eye on you and make you do the work.”

And he especially appreciated the fact he didn’t have to travel. “You’re right here,” he says. “It makes it easier on you and your family. If I had done this somewhere else, it would have been a burden.”

His Health at Home treatment immediately after surgery provided not only the monitoring he needed, but also security and peace of mind. He had someone there to watch over him, explaining how his recovery would progress.

Though he has graduated from the cardiopulmonary rehab program, he isn’t about to veer from his course of recovery. “My eating habits are completely different,” he explains. And he avoids stress.

Staying close to home meant he could fulfill his duties as a director of the Solano County Fair, something he’s done for the last 32 years.

He, like NorthBay Healthcare, understands what a long-term commitment to the community means.

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