Fisherman hooked on close-to-home tune-ups for his ticker

After angler and Olney resident Guss McCoy experienced chest pains back in June, his primary care provider referred him to an important new specialist at Carle Richland Memorial Hospital.

A board-certified cardiologist, Dr. Prem Ghai provides a host of services for heart patients who previously had to go elsewhere for care. After joining the Carle health system in April, Carle Richland began partnering with Carle Heart & Vascular Institute (HVI) to provide full-time cardiology services in southeastern Illinois. 

Guss McCoy of Olney fishing“Sometimes in rural areas people don’t always go to the doctor when they need to because they have to travel out of town for certain specialty care,” Dr. Ghai said. “We’re improving that with services for them closer to home.

“In many cases, we will be able to provide the services you need right here, but if it is something we can’t do, we will make sure you are transferred to a facility that can provide that care.”

Call it a perfect match, then.

“With my condition, I need someone here for me close by,” McCoy said. “I can tell Dr. Ghai really cares about me.”

Soon after they met, Dr. Ghai’s 25 years of cardiology experience helped him determine what was causing McCoy’s pain. A stent placed several years ago was no longer functioning properly and needed to be replaced.

It all started when a day of fishing for McCoy turned much more serious. 

Dr. Prem Ghai, cardiologistFrom the Carle Richland Emergency Department, Dr. Ghai had McCoy flown by helicopter to Urbana.

After more tests, the HVI team, in coordination with Dr. Ghai, scheduled McCoy to have the stent replaced the next day.

“All the doctors and the nurses were really friendly there, just like they are down here,” said McCoy, who went home to Olney three days after the procedure.

Thanks to Dr. Ghai’s practice there, McCoy receives follow-up care close to home.

“All the people here are right on top of things,” he said.

To make sure future fishing trips are calmer, McCoy is doing cardiac rehabilitation at Carle Richland, as well.

“The cardiac rehab staff here is just great,” McCoy said. “They are getting me back where I need to be.  They are caring and know what they are doing.”

In addition to clinic hours, Dr. Ghai provides consultations for hospital and Emergency Department patients. For appointments or referrals, please contact the Cardiology Clinic at Carle Richland Memorial Hospital at (618) 392-1139.