Holman returns quickly after heart procedure
When fall practice started for the Bemidji State men's hockey team, Shane Holman knew something was wrong. Working hard to come into the season in the best physical shape of his life, Holman said he started having spells where he experienced diff...
When fall practice started for the Bemidji State men's hockey team, Shane Holman knew something was wrong.
Working hard to come into the season in the best physical shape of his life, Holman said he started having spells where he experienced difficulty breathing and chest pain.
"I didn't tell anybody and just let it go for a few months," said Holman, a junior from Hibbing, Minn. But the spells became more frequent and severe. By February, Holman said he realized he had to say something about the problem.
Holman went to the doctor for tests and was referred to a cardiologist in the Twin Cities. During exploratory surgery, Holman said, the doctors found the problem.
The BSU forward, known for his high energy and blazing speed, was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia. SVT occurs when an abnormal electrical impulse originates above the ventricles of the heart. But instead of causing a single beat and a pause, it travels in circles and causes many rapid beats.
It is a rare condition found in only two of 10,000 people.
Already on the table of the operating room for three hours, Holman said doctors decided to address the problem then and there.
Part of the treatment, Holman said, was to place four catheters in some of his heart valves. The procedure was done with doctors accessing the heart via Holman's thigh.
Once the catheters were set, doctors placed a monitor in Holman's chest. Measuring about two inches long by one inch wide and half an inch thick, the outline of the device, known as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, can be seen under Holman's skin.
The ICD is implanted in the chest and connected to the heart with wires. It is programmed by the doctor to sense SVT when it is occurring and to administer a shock to stop it.
After six hours in the operating room Holman's medical odyssey was done.
While medical procedures done these days are often times mind boggling, Holman's quick recovery back to the ice was nothing short of amazing.
Only 10 days after the procedure was done, Holman was back on the ice. Then he returned to the team for the CHA tournament just a few days after that.
Holman said the procedure seems to be addressing the problem very well. "I used to get about 15 attacks a day," he said. "Since the procedure was done I've had about nine in three weeks."
Holman shrugs off the condition with nonchalance. "Basically, it's just a nuisance," he said. "But the doctors wanted to take care of it right away."
Holman barely missed a beat with the Beavers. Seen as a key offensive performer whose speed and high energy on the ice carries over to his teammates, Holman's return was a big component to the Beavers' CHA Tournament title run.
Now he's ready to compete in his second straight NCAA Tournament. "We're not looking at it like we're just happy to be there," said Holman. "We want to make some noise.
"We think we match up well with Wisconsin, our speed against theirs. They have great goaltending and team defense. We just have to go do it. There's no looking back."