Cecil's Heart Story

Feb 11, 2020

Meet Cecil Jarrells, a heart patient whose life was saved in Birmingham

February is the month of hearts in more ways than one. Whether your heart belongs to a Valentine this year or not, you still need to make sure it’s healthy. Meet one Alabama heart patient whose life was saved right here in Birmingham.

health15-360x190-our-storiesHeart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. One in every four deaths in America is a result of heart disease, and the Birmingham area is no stranger to the condition.

Cecil Jarrells is an 81-year-old Etowah County resident. Mr. Jarrells is a husband, father of three and grandfather who, when asked about his hobbies, simply replied (with a big thumbs-up),

“Alabama Football.”

We got to meet Mr. Jarrells, his wife and one of his daughters when they were in Birmingham for an appointment at Princeton Baptist Medical Center. He was friendly, charming and kept everyone in the room laughing with his quick wit and dry humor.

Last year, after experiencing some shortness of breath and other symptoms, Mr. Jarrells knew he needed a good cardiologist. A family member connected him to Dr. David Sibley with Princeton Baptist Medical Center, part of Brookwood Baptist Health.

health13-360x190-our-storiesDr. Sibley diagnosed an 80 percent blockage in Mr. Jarrell’s “widowmaker” artery — named for its status as the most deadly type of blockage to have.

Saving Lives, One — Balloon? — at a Time

As one might imagine, open-heart surgery can be quite tough on the body. After running diagnostics and determining where the blockage was, Dr. Sibley was able to clear the artery with a catheter — which is a lot less invasive.

If you’re curious about the science of it, a cardiologist can essentially insert an empty balloon into a partially blocked artery and inflate it at the site to flatten the plaque (blockage) against the artery wall. Afterward, a small, mesh-like device called a stent is placed inside as a support, keeping the artery open.

Mr. Jarrells has had great results post-op and still comes down to Birmingham for check-ups with Dr. Sibley. I asked him why he’s still making the trip instead of finding a physician closer to home to do his examinations. The Jarrells all agreed that it was their positive experience with Dr. Sibley that keeps them coming back.

“I like to stay with the man who took me to the dance.”

Cecil Jarrells isn’t the only person in Alabama making trips to Birmingham for the best healthcare around. Dr. Sibley reported that residents from all over the state (or farther) travel to our Magic City seeking treatment within the Brookwood Baptist Heath system.

With over 60 talented specialists in the cardiovascular fields alone, the Brookwood Baptist Health Heart Team will develop a customized treatment plan to manage and improve your heart’s health.

Mr. Jarrells’ wife Dorothy and daughter Jeanne both raved about how wonderful their experience at Princeton Baptist Medical Center has been.

“Within a week of us arriving, his heart cath was done. Dr. Sibley was wonderful—we really couldn’t have asked for anything better.”