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Steve Nabity

An Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile run, raced in that order and without a break. These triathlons separate many of the best athletes into “this is my race” or “maybe next year.” It is not a competition that is taken lightly- many, many months of training are required. Steve Nabity took on this challenge at the age of 58 and continued even when he was diagnosed with an irregular heart beat during an executive physical in 2017.

“In 2018, my heart was racing more often so I went to a local cardiologist."

“He prescribed beta blockers which I know aren’t helpful to extreme athletes. I got a few second opinions and found a new cardiologist in Nebraska. My cardiologist said that I had an enlarged aorta and ‘don’t do anything strenuous.’ He also told me he didn’t want to read about me in a local paper if I did,” added Steve.

A stress test resulted in PVCs throughout and a recommendation to see an electrophysiologist. This physician told him he could continue racing. This confused Steve and he sought yet another opinion. The next physician wanted to do an ablation, which Steve declined.

“At a meeting with fellow YPOers and board members I was lamenting the conflicting advice I had received. Several of them remarked that I needed to get a second opinion at Cleveland Clinic and that Healthnetwork could make it happen."

I called the next day and told Amanda, my medical coordinator that I needed to see a cardiologist – but I want an athlete’s cardiologist. She said absolutely we can help,” Steve said.

Steve was soon connected with Dermot Phelan, MD, Medical Director of the Sports Cardiology Center at Cleveland Clinic. Three weeks later, Steve and his wife Lynette were flying to Cleveland expecting a typical hospital visit with lengthy waiting times and delayed physicians.

“My appointment went so well, and we were never rushed or forced to wait long. Cleveland Clinic is one of the most professional organizations I have visited. I am moving all my heart care there to Dr. Phelan. This was one of the coolest and greatest experience I have ever had with any doctor.

“I had resigned myself to stop racing if that was the conclusion Dr. Phelan came up with. That was how much I trusted his expertise."

Steve was soon connected with Dermot Phelan, MD, Medical Director of the Sports Cardiology Center at Cleveland Clinic. Three weeks later, Steve and his wife Lynette were flying to Cleveland expecting a typical hospital visit with lengthy waiting times and delayed physicians.

“My appointment went so well, and we were never rushed or forced to wait long. Cleveland Clinic is one of the most professional organizations I have visited. I am moving all my heart care there to Dr. Phelan. This was one of the coolest and greatest experience I have ever had with any doctor.

Dr. Phelan took time and answered our questions; he even squeezed in more tests. I was impressed when he told me my stress test would be done on a bicycle, because a treadmill would not be as stressful for a trained athlete.

The next day at 8AM, Dr. Phelan called me to talk about test results and recommendations. We tried to conference in my wife, but technology was not on our side. I couldn't believe it when Dr. Phelan offered to call my wife since we could not connect earlier and explain the results and recommendations. I think she was as blown away as I was!” Steve shared.

It turned out that the MRI taken at Cleveland Clinic showed that his aorta was labeled to have a size within the ‘upper normal’ range- likely from all his training. Dr. Phelan gave the green light on his training.

“I had resigned myself to stop racing if that was the conclusion Dr. Phelan came up with. That was how much I trusted his expertise. I knew I was in the best place for me – just like the signs all say at Cleveland Clinic “#1 in Cardiac care for 23 years.

YPOers want someone to make it happen for them. We run business, run families … we are busy ‘doing life.’ When something medical comes up we are typically out of our comfort zones. After talking with Amanda, I felt I was in good hands and that Healthnetwork was going to come through. I wouldn’t know how to attempt this on my own. But Amanda made it happen, you all made it so easy from that first phone call to the end. I can’t thank you enough. I wish all the businesses I deal with operated like Healthnetwork!”

Steve Nabity

Omaha, Nebraska