NorthShore patient Jay Reardon

Jay’s Heart Story: Thankful for Exceptional Care

Twenty years ago, Jay Reardon of Glenview woke up to bone-crushing pressure in his chest that made it difficult for him to breathe. Within minutes, he arrived at NorthShore Glenbrook Hospital where doctors discovered a substantial blockage in a coronary artery. The next day, interventional cardiologists inserted two stents that opened blood flow to his heart.

They told me I had well over 90% blockage. I was walking around on borrowed time,” recalled Reardon, 70, the retired Northbrook Fire Department and Statewide MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) Chief. “All those years I thought I was indestructible. It was time to change.”

It was a seminal moment in Jay’s life and the beginning of a deep appreciation for—and long relationship with—his care team at the NorthShore Cardiovascular Institute.

I would have missed a lot of important things in the life of my family, my kids and my grandchild had I not had such good care,” he said. “I have so much to be thankful for.”

This past summer, Jay eagerly gathered outside Glenbrook Hospital with elected officials, NorthShore care team members and community leaders to celebrate the groundbreaking of our new cardiovascular pavilion, which is expected to be completed in early 2024.  

NorthShore has effectively integrated the right people, training, equipment and infrastructure to provide a world-class system of healthcare,” he said. “We are so fortunate to have Glenbrook Hospital right down the street from our home.”

A Second Heart Scare

Fortunate, indeed. Last year during a routine visit, his cardiologist Jordan Harris, MD, discovered that Jay was experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib), a common heart rhythm disorder that can lead to poor circulation and an increased risk for stroke.

Treatment options included conservative approaches with medication or cardioversion, a procedure that uses low-energy electrical shocks to restore the heart’s rhythm. Jay had a cardioversion that initially reset his heart and left him feeling much better. However, the AFib returned a few short months later. Dr. Harris suggested that he consider an ablation—a process to remove problematic heart tissue—with NorthShore Cardiac Electrophysiologist Mark Metzl, MD. 

The procedure went smoothly, and Jay went home the same day. But his care didn’t stop there.

Embracing Change

With support from his doctors, Jay has taken charge of his health by paying attention to his diet and “trying not to be a couch potato.”

I try to connect with patients at their level and assess their readiness to make small changes and big steps toward a healthier lifestyle, which is really the essence of prevention,” said Dr. Harris. “As a general cardiologist, I’ve got a village of support here at NorthShore with expert electrophysiologists, vascular surgeons and interventional cardiologists, and I know I can take excellent care of my patients.”

You Can Support More Lifesaving Heart Care

In recent years, NorthShore has emerged as a leader in cardiovascular medicine. We’re on a mission to continue advancing our heart care through innovative research, leading-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities. 

If you’re inspired to contribute to the Cardiovascular Institute, we invite you to join us by making a gift. Every gift large or small makes a difference in the lives of community members like Jay.