George Ogles, of Augusta, is an active former Air Force lieutenant colonel, who stays fit playing golf and working out in his country club's gym.
He has a long history of good health and thought he was in shape, but in October 2008 he discovered that looks can be deceiving.
"I was playing golf and pulling a cart with my clubs up a hill when I noticed that I was a little short of breath," Mr. Ogles said. After discussing it with his wife, Mr. Ogles made an appointment with his cardiologist, Faiz Rehman, M.D., who practices at University Hospital.
"Dr. Rehman suggested I get scanned with the 64-slice CT scanner at University Hospital and then we'd meet to review the results," Mr. Ogles said.
Two days later, Mr. Ogles spent a little more 10 minutes in the scanner, all that's required to produce detailed images of Mr. Ogles' heart.
The news he got at his review with Dr. Rehman was startling, to say the least.
"I thought I was in great shape," Mr. Ogles said. "But my arteries were in terrible shape."
Mr. Ogles was shocked to find out his calcium score was 8,000. For comparison, a score of 400 is cause for concern.
"Within two days, I was in the hospital, and they did six bypasses," he said. The bypasses were done because Mr. Ogles arteries were so clogged with calcium, physicians couldn't insert stents to open the blockages. "I just can't say enough good things about my treatment at University. Everyone there - the doctors, the nurses - they were all wonderful."
Since his surgery, Mr. Ogles is back in the swing of things, and is getting his strength back through University's Cardiovascular Rehabilitation program. But he's also become a proponent of knowing your calcium score.
"This is a message that I want to get out to as many people as possible," he said. "People really need to get this screening done to find out their calcium score. This is an investment for the future of your health."