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Heart patient donates colt

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 10:53 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A man from Bartlett is selling his colt as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for the care he received during his recent double bypass heart surgery.

Steve Shermer is a man of the ranch and the land. But in late April, he entered into new territory. “Right after the first of the year, I just noticed I was really getting short of breath, and getting quite a little bit of heartburn,” Shermer said. He told his daughter about the symptoms, and they decided to get it checked out. “I went and had a stress test done, and they came up with the fact that I needed to have a heart cath scan done,” Shermer said. “They found the blockage was extensive, they couldn’t put a stint in, so they had to go for open heart surgery.” Shermer says it all happened fairly quickly. “On Thursday I found out I was having the surgery, and on Monday I had the surgery,” Shermer said.

Within the course of less than a week, Shermer was able to return home. He says the care he received at Nebraska Heart was great. “The nurses there I thought were excellent,” Shermer said. “Any question that I asked they gave very detailed answers. They were friendly. They visited with you.” Dr. Ed Raines performed the surgery. “We did the double bypass on him and he did very well,” Raines said. “He went home and apparently he felt better than he had in some time, which is very common after this kind of surgery. It’s really the reason I keep doing this, because it’s gratifying to see patients do well, and he did.”

On the day of the surgery, Steve’s horse named “Barron’s Whiskey”, gave birth to a colt. “My son told me about it before I ever got home,” Shermer said. “He was checking on them for me and he let me know the colt was born that day. It was neat.” So neat in fact, that the colt now has a special mission. “I wanted to do something for the hospital,” Shermer said. “I thought they did such a nice job. The staff, the nurses, everybody was really good and nice. So, I talked to the Pitzer Ranch over here and asked if I could put this colt on a sale and donate the proceeds of this colt to the hospital. They said yes, and that’s what we are going to do.”

The CHI Health Nebraska Heart Foundation plans to use the money donated to purchase a new heart and lung machine. “We use this machine everyday, and it’s really a miracle of medicine that we do that every day,” Raines said. “We put people on an artificial life support, with very few complications. It’s very safe.” Shermer’s case serves as a reminder for everyone to watch for warning signs of heart disease. “You know, the classic symptom is chest pressure,” Shermer said. “You feel like someone is sitting on your heart, and the pain goes into your jaw or your arm. Anybody can diagnose that, but some symptoms are more subtle and that’s especially true in women. Women often times don’t have the classic typical signs of heart disease and so you have to pay attention.”

Shermer is glad he paid attention to the warning signs. By selling his colt, he wants the proceeds to be his way of saying “thanks”. “I just hope we get a nice amount of money for him, to donate to this,” Shermer said. His colt is going to be sold at the Pitzer Ranch sale on Saturday, September 11, probably between 11 a.m. and Noon. The name of the colt is “Barron’s First Bypass”. Anyone is welcome to bid on the colt and purchase it.

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