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February 21, 2023

“He saved my life”: Heart patient grateful for cardiologist

IU Health Tipton Hospital

“He saved my life”: Heart patient grateful for cardiologist

When Mike Moran found out he suffered a heart attack, a cardiologist at IU Health Tipton jumped into action to save his life.

By Emma Avila,, writer for IU Health's Indianapolis Suburban Region

When Mike Moran found out he had already had a heart attack, he was shocked. He remembered driving to work in July 2016 and feeling hot, chills and shaking, all at the same time, like he was running a fever.

Two months later, he still felt more tired than normal. He went into a healthcare facility for an unrelated procedure. An EKG showed he had most likely already experienced a heart attack that he wasn’t aware of.

After speaking with his primary care provider and some additional testing, he knew it was time to consult a cardiologist. That’s how he began seeing Dr. Ali Iqtidar at IU Health Tipton Hospital.

Dr. Ali Iqtidar, cardiologist at IU Health Tipton Hospital
Dr. Ali Iqtidar, cardiologist at IU Health Tipton Hospital

“He’s very thorough. He spends time with you like you’re the only patient he’s got to see all day,” Moran said.

“When Mike came to see me, he had had an EKG as part of a preoperative work up for another surgery. This EKG demonstrated signs of a past heart attack. He had also had a heart scan, which demonstrated extensive calcium buildup in his coronary arteries,” Iqtidar explained. “He had been getting progressively short of breath with any exertion. Since he was an insulin-dependent diabetic, I suspected severe narrowing in his coronary arteries. Therefore, in his case, I decided to proceed directly with heart catheterization and angiography.”

Angiography is a type of X-ray used to check blood vessels. Moran’s diabetes may have also played a role in his unusual heart attack symptoms.

“He is a diabetic, and as such, may not experience typical ‘pain’ symptoms,” Iqtidar added. “The symptoms can be those of a vague chest discomfort, coupled with shortness of breath and exercise intolerance. Diabetics will often experience what we call ‘atypical symptoms.’”

Two days later, Moran went to IU Health Saxony Hospital–soon to be IU Health Fishers, where Iqtidar performed the heart catheterization and put stents in three of Moran’s arteries.

“As far as I’m concerned, he saved my life,” Moran said. “You just don’t realize how bad you feel because it comes on gradually. I just feel so much better.”

Moran, now 69, continues to see Iqtidar at IU Health Tipton for annual follow up appointments.

“At his follow up appointments, I am very careful to tease out any recurrence of symptoms and keep a relatively low threshold for performing a stress test,” Iqtidar said. “In addition, I ensure that we review and modify any outstanding risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.”

Moran’s last appointment was in November, which he said he passed with “flying colors.” He is thrilled that he is feeling so much better.

“I want to live as long as I can. I have 22 grandchildren.”

With February being American Heart Month, he hopes to encourage others to focus on their heart health.

“I tell people to pay attention to what your body is telling you. And also, get regular checkups,” he added.

Iqtidar hopes people will be proactive, especially if they know they have a family history of heart issues.

“I would strongly recommend that they initiate the conversation regarding diagnosis and risk factor management early with their physician,” he said. “With advances in modern medicine, they can change the trajectory of their life significantly even if there is a strong family history of aggressive heart and vascular disease.”


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