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Billy's Story

After a life-saving heart procedure, Billy Boyette also received some unexpected, life-saving advice from an observant member of the WakeMed Heart Center team.

"Certainly, let's do it," were Billy's words after he found out that he needed a stent to open one of his arteries that was 90 percent blocked.   Billy accepted the fact that he was a prime candidate for heart disease because he was a smoker, a diabetic and had an extensive family history of heart problems. 

Billy's minimally invasive stent placement went smoothly.  But, while in the recovery area of the WakeMed Heart Center Catheterization Lab, Billy got some surprising news from catheterization lab technologist David Rock.

David is a long-time member of the WakeMed Heart Center team, who cares for patients while they recover from catheterization procedures.  Near the area of Billy's leg where the catheterization was inserted, David noticed a suspicious mole. 

David told Billy to have the mole checked by his primary care physician because it appeared unusual.  "He told me it would be a shame if they fixed my heart and something happened to me because of that mole," Billy said.

Fortunately, Billy took David's advice.  Back home in Sampson County, Billy went to see his doctor, who removed the mole.  Lab tests revealed the mole was in fact melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.  After an additional procedure to remove more tissue around the area, Billy received a clean bill of skin health.

Now, let's flash back to the beginning of Billy's story.  What would have happened if Billy hadn't had that stress test?  Billy's heart and skin issues - both of which can be fatal - may not have been caught in time.  It's a comfort to know that the specialists at the WakeMed Heart Center are focused on more than heart and vascular issues. 

They treat the whole person, and that's a great comfort.

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