Meet John Stormshak
See how minimally-invasive heart surgery helped this car enthusiast get back on the road.
- Age: 63
- Occupation: Tooling engineer
- Hobbies: Car enthusiast
- Owensboro Health experience: da Vinci® minimally-invasive heart surgery
A Passion for Cars
John Stormshak invested nearly four years of his life and a lot of hard-earned money to restore his prized 1967 Camaro—a car he searched high and low for, one reminiscent of his high school days when he and his buddies would cruise the town after class or on the weekends.
Stormshak carefully returned his motorized orange baby to like-new condition following the original blueprint. He found and installed the best parts that would fit correctly. He positioned cloth emblems on the safety belts in their exact, original positions. And the paint job was as bright and shiny as it could be—second to none.
Even with meticulous efforts to bring his sports car back to life, Stormshak describes himself as a perfectionist and he admits that he would do some things differently if he were to begin the restoration again.
“That’s the way I am, a real stickler to detail,” he says.
Fixing Things Up
Cars are one thing, but he takes a polar opposite position when talking about his heart surgery: He says he would have everything exactly the same—without exception.
“It’s incredible, hard to fathom,” Stormshak says of his quick recovery after a double bypass operation in 2010.
When the relatively healthy then-61-year-old visited his family doctor for a checkup, he underwent a series of tests, including a heart catheterization that uncovered two blocked arties. Stormshak then became one of the first patients at Owensboro Health to have a robotic-assisted multivessel bypass operation.
Stormshak’s surgeon, Doug Adams, M.D., used minimally invasive surgical techniques to restore blood flow to critical arteries surrounding Stormshak’s heart, operating through tiny incisions made between his ribs.
While time in the operating room is a few hours longer than conventional open-heart surgery, the extra time spent on the front end shortens a patient’s overall hospital stay, reduces blood loss, minimizes pain and accelerates recovery.
Back on the Road
Stormshak returned to work in only four weeks. Friends, family and co-workers couldn’t believe his rapid recovery, remarking about his return to daily activities in such a short time.
“I felt great!” says Stormshak, who was also happy to find none of his incisions were more than an inch long.