Published on June 09, 2021

Murrell on Other Side of Treatment

Melanie Murrell and Dr. TaltonRegistered nurse Melanie Murrell of Dorsey assisted with hundreds of heart surgeries at North Mississippi Medical Center during the 10 years she worked with the cardiothoracic surgeons, but recently she found herself on the other side of the table. Melanie, 41, now works as a home hospice nurse. “On April 29, I was heading to do a hospice admission in Vardaman, but I just didn’t feel well, so I stopped by Barnes Crossing Urgent Care. I told them I had chest pain around my neck,” Melanie says. “They did lab work and an EKG. About 20 minutes later I was in an ambulance headed to North Mississippi Medical Center. I was having a heart attack and they were afraid I was going to have another one.”

During a cardiac catheterization, interventional cardiologist Barry Bertolet, M.D., discovered several blockages in Melanie’s coronary arteries. “I expected that I might get a stent or two, but the bad news turned worse,” she says. “I was scheduled for open heart surgery two days later.”

Cardiothoracic surgeon David Talton, M.D., performed triple bypass surgery and, says Melanie, “everything went picture perfect.” She spent that night in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and a few more nights in a regular room before going home. Now she participates in NMMC’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program three days each week to get stronger, build endurance and prevent future heart issues.

For years, Melanie had worked alongside Dr. Talton, Dr. Bertolet and the NMMC Heart and Vascular Institute team—but now she appreciates their expertise and care more than ever. She had never experienced heart problems before and has no real family history of heart disease. “I didn’t know I was as sick as I was. Too often, people with heart disease like mine are just gone in an instant and nobody ever really knows why,” Melanie says. “It’s not lost on me how scary this was. I’m just so thankful that my friends took care of me.”

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