Genetic heart condition affects Catlin man, family | Local news

CATLIN – Matt McGee’s relations are hopeful Friday’s coronary heart surgical procedure in Chicago will make life simpler for the 47-year-old who was recognized two years in the past with a genetic coronary heart situation.

McGee’s spouse, Kristi, mentioned her husband and father of 4 had not been feeling effectively for a number of years.

β€œHe had shortness of breath and chest tightness,” he mentioned. “We wrote it off as stress or bronchial asthma for six years.”

Throughout an workplace go to in February 2020, McGee’s major care doctor found a coronary heart murmur that was regarding.

“The guts murmur was very loud,” Kristi mentioned. “We knew one thing was significantly unsuitable.”

McGee’s physician referred him to a heart specialist in Carle, however because the day of his appointment approached, McGee’s life, in addition to everybody else’s, was placed on maintain in March 2020 with the onset of COVID-19. 19.

β€œI had an appointment with a heart specialist in March 2020, however the world got here to a standstill,” Kristi mentioned.

It wasn’t till November 2020 that McGee was lastly seen by a Carle heart specialist, who advised him his coronary heart situation was one thing he could not deal with and referred McGee to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

β€œWe left there not figuring out the prognosis or the severity of it,” Kristi mentioned.

At Northwestern, McGee was recognized with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and underwent surgical procedure in February 2021 to put in a pacemaker and defibrillator.

β€œWith HCM, the wall of the septum thickens, inflicting a blockage that forestalls blood from flowing correctly between the 2 decrease chambers of the center, which in flip stretches the center valve,” defined Kristi.

“If you hear about youngsters who play sports activities and go into cardiac arrest, it is as a result of they’ve HCM,” he mentioned.

β€œIt’s a genetic illness and there’s a 50 p.c likelihood that my kids may have it,” he added. “They present no indicators of it, but it surely’s extra frequent than you suppose, and now my children have to fret about it.”

The McGees’ kids, Jacob, 21, Shelby, 17, Karli, 13 and Grayson, 9, are seen by cardiologists and obtain echocardiograms yearly.

β€œOur three youngest kids go to Lurie in Chicago annually,” Kristi mentioned. “Our son, Jacob, goes to Matt’s heart specialist as a result of Jacob discovered he has hypertension, so we switched him to Northwestern’s heart specialist.”

Matt’s father, Mike McGee, has additionally since been recognized with HCM.

“(Mike McGee’s) mom’s sister, her mom’s brother and her mom’s mom all died younger of cardiac arrest,” Kristi mentioned. “It is of their genes.”

New genes with the HCM marker are being found on a regular basis. Matt McGee, nonetheless, is without doubt one of the 20 p.c of HCM sufferers who do not know which particular gene is liable for his HCM, making it troublesome to foretell the illness in his kids and for docs to find out a therapy plan for him.

With medication and a pacemaker, McGee felt higher final summer season, however in the course of the fall and winter β€œall of his signs got here again in full drive,” Kristi mentioned.

“We knew one thing was unsuitable,” he mentioned. “The medicine wasn’t working and the pacemaker wasn’t conserving the blockage clear.”

Open coronary heart surgical procedure on August 5 concerned eradicating the thickness of the septal wall to permit blood to stream correctly in his coronary heart. McGee will proceed to wish a pacemaker and defibrillator.

Kristi and her kids hope that with the surgical procedure, McGee will regain his power and really feel as regular as doable.

“It would not take away the illness, but it surely ought to get your power again,” Kristi mentioned.

β€œHe has two jobs. He works the third shift at Kraft and likewise because the township freeway commissioner,” he added. “I do not know the way he does it. He’s drained and out of breath. He would not know the way dangerous he feels.”

After the surgical procedure, McGee will keep within the Chicago hospital for a couple of week after which have a 10-12 week restoration.

“The following few months are going to be powerful for us whereas Matt is out of labor,” he mentioned.

Kristi, who’s a instructor at Oakwood Junior Excessive, mentioned she participates in an HCM help group on Fb and is grateful for the outpouring of help her household has obtained from the Catlin group.

The McGees’ eldest daughter, Shelby, created a GoFundMe account earlier this week. The Matthew McGee Profit Fund was additionally established at Catlin Financial institution on the Catlin and Georgetown places.

Jeff Fauver, president of Catlin Financial institution, mentioned he has recognized McGee for at the very least 15 years.

“He is a superb man and he is very concerned locally,” she mentioned. β€œHe’s an excellent household man.

“It is so unhappy. It is so younger and energetic,” Fauver added. “Not solely the financial institution, however the group of Catlin, has been nice in supporting the household.”

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