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What started as student practice, ended as life saving

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What started as student practice, ended as life saving

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A student earning a medical degree from Lexington’s MedQuest campus thought she was just getting extra practice when she scanned a friend at the school, but what she found likely ended up saving his life.

Jessica Begley is studying to be a sonographer at MedQuest, and often scans friends and family for practice.

Last month, she was looking for someone different.

“I needed a new body to scan, so I went up front in our building to talk to our admission officers,” Begley says.

That’s where Chris Ward comes in. He’s an alumnus, and at the time, an employee of MedQuest.

Ward says he jumped at the opportunity.

“I was like ‘I’m gonna get scanned by these sonography students. ‘This is cool,’” Ward says. “It’s kinda ironic that the one time I do, it leads me to the ER.”

When Begley scanned his heart, she says she found his ventricle was significantly enlarged, and his aorta was abnormally dilated – in other words, something was seriously wrong with his heart.

“It was definitely a little scary because you see things through your textbook the time that you’re at school and you hear about things, but you don’t usually see those things in scan lab,” Begley says.

Begley talked to her instructors, scanned Ward again and took his blood pressure, which was very high. She then rushed Ward to University of Kentucky Hospital.

“They were telling me at UK, they were like, you are so lucky, you could have had a stroke,” Ward recalls.

Ward says he had flair ups in the past in undergrad, but it wasn’t as serious, and the symptoms went away. He also has family history of heart problems. His grandfather passed away from them.

Now, he wants everyone to pay attention to their heart health, no matter how good they feel.

“If I don’t feel bad I think, ‘Oh, I’m healthy. I’m fine.’ Know your family history, and if you’re ever offered to get scanned, do it.”

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