Terry Arlinghaus Find a Location Find a Doctor Heart & Vascular Advanced Heart Failure Management Center Arrhythmia Center Diagnostic Testing Treatments/Procedures Cardiology Heart Attack Care Minimally Invasive Procedures Cardio-Oncology Cardiac Rehab Clinical Research Diagnostic Services Heart Surgery Patient Success Stories Prevention & Wellness AHA Training Center CardioVascular Mobile Health Unit Hands-only CPR Healing Hearts Women's Support Group Heart Healthy Lifestyle Tips My Heart Rocks Take Time For Your Heart Women and Heart Disease Tobacco Cessation E-cigarette Education Fresh Start Tobacco Cessation Nicotine Medication Nicotine Replacement Nicotine Therapy Success Stories Tobacco Cessation Resources Valve Center Aortic Valve Replacement Mitral Valve Surgery Your Hospital Stay Care After Heart Surgery Intensive Care for Heart Conditions Nurses with Heart Care Expertise Partners in Heart Care Transitional Care Units Simple Genetic Test Tells Doctors Which Medicine is Best for Heart Patient Terry Arlinghaus’ doctor told him he was a walking time bomb. Maybe three years, maybe three weeks. Clogged arteries were silently threatening the life of the 60-year-old Northern Kentucky man. And he didn’t even know it. “Believe it or not, I was feeling great. I had no problems,” said Terry. But his wife, mindful that Terry’s brother had a heart attack when he was 58, urged Terry to get screened for heart issues. Surgery soon followed. St. Elizabeth Heart & Vascular Institute Cardiologist Dr. Kevin Miller implanted four stents on a Friday to open clogged arteries. “I went back to work on the following Monday. So, I actually only missed work the day of the procedure,” said Terry. During his overnight stay at St. Elizabeth, Terry was able to participate in a Mayo Clinic-sponsored clinical research study to determine the best drug for specific patients to prevent blood clots from forming in the stents. “When I was in the hospital, they approached me about the test,” Terry explained. After talking to Dr. Miller, Terry gave the go-ahead. “They just took a swab from my cheek and that was the only thing I had to do,” said Terry. The genetic test shows if patients have a specific liver enzyme deficiency which prevents their body from using the anti-clotting drug Plavix correctly and may cause deadly complications. The test on Terry showed he was compatible and there was no issue with his body tolerating the drug. “This is customized medicine and this is where healthcare is going,” said Cardiologist Dr. D.P. Suresh, principal investigator for the study at St. Elizabeth. Dr. Miller said the test allowed him to discharge Terry from the hospital with a treatment plan tailored specifically for Terry. Doctors know that the aspirin-Plavix regimen doesn’t work for as many as 20 percent of patients. But “up until the advent of this test, we didn’t know who they are,” said Dr. Miller. Within a week, Terry was back to all his regular activities including golfing, gardening, keeping up the yard and walks with his wife Nancy. He’s feeling great and is noticeably less tired in the afternoons. “If I could, I’d golf every day of the week,” he said. Terry said Dr. Miller told him that Nancy, his wife of four years, “probably saved my life.” Terry’s final word? “Get on the phone and make an appointment.” Learn More If you have questions about your heart health or what screening tests you should have, ask your doctor. If you don’t have a doctor, call 1 (800) 737-7900 or click here to find a doctor who meets your needs. When patients choose St. Elizabeth for their care, they get access to research studies that offer treatment options and procedures that are not yet widely available.