The Fourth of July started like any other, until George Henshaw, 74, experienced an emergency. While spending time at the beach with his children and grandchildren, Henshaw had a stroke and was transported to Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast.
“I had no idea before that; I had no symptoms other than just being tired,” Henshaw said.
Henshaw sought cardiologist recommendations from friends, and several recommended Dr. Charles Mayes. Henshaw, a former college football and NFL coach for 42 years, said he connected with Dr. Mayes over a mutual love of sports.Dr. Mayes was a collegiate basketball player at Vanderbilt; Henshaw played football at West Virginia. Henshaw spent the most significant portion of his career as the tight end coach at the Tennessee Titans and was there when they went to the Super Bowl. He also coached at Florida State and Alabama.
Dr. Mayes installed a pacemaker and later a defibrillator to help prevent Henshaw from having another stroke. During Henshaw’s follow-up appointments, Dr. Mayes noticed that Henshaw’s heart was beating irregularly, a symptom of atrial fibrillation that can increase the risk for stroke. Dr. Mayes referred him to cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Adam Bainey.
“Dr. Mayes told me I am going to refer you to the electrician, and he sent me to Dr. Bainey,” said Henshaw laughing.
Henshaw once again found a sports connection with his care team. Dr. Bainey, a Georgia alumnus, let Henshaw change his scheduled surgery date when he learned the Georgia Bulldogs were playing the LSU Tigers in the SEC Championship.
In December of 2022, Dr. Bainey did an ablation to help control Henshaw’s AFib and reduce his chance of having another stroke. He said he went from being 74 to feeling 64 the next day. Within a week, Henshaw had returned to normal activities and had energy. He said the procedure had improved his life, allowing him to do more activities he loves, like assisting with his grandchildren’s sports events, soccer, baseball, and flag football.
“From the front desk to the associates who prepare you for procedures to the providers, everyone has been phenomenal,” said Henshaw.
Henshaw said from his first experience at the emergency room to his procedures with Dr. Mayes and ablation with Dr. Bainey, Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast has a winning team. He said nurse Natasha Philips was the one that guided him through it all. Henshaw continues to see Dr. Mayes for his heart care.
For more information on heart care at Ascension Sacred Heart, visit ascension.org/DestinHeart.