In a small village in the north of Thuringia – between Bad Langensalza and Sondershausen lies Holzsußra. In the middle, a small stream meanders through the village, which divides the main road. Hans Dieter Ilmer lives at the top.
The former driver is 78 today and is sitting on his sofa. Soon he will be back in Bad Berka for the next heart operation. “I can hardly count them anymore, he says. I think it will be number 5, ”he leans back and smiles. Patient Hans Dieter Ilmer has already successfully survived many heart operations.
He looks fit. There is hardly a trace of the many interventions that he has already undergone. He notices the astonished look: “I’m just something like a stand-up man. Always get up – that’s my motto, “he laughs – and tells his story in the RHÖN health blog. Back then as a young man he learned to be an electrician. After serving in the army in Mühlhausen, he switched to motorists. That was the work for a lifetime. “I drove almost everything. The tractor, the truck, the bus ”.
He was behind the wheel for almost 50 years and admits: “Back then, I smoked like in a chimney. As it was in that time. I didn’t even notice how I lit one cigarette after the other ”. Until then came the first beats to health, and the heart no longer wanted as it should. From one day to the next the cigarettes were over. He could be that consistent.
Then after many years of work the time had come. Hans Dieter Ilmer retired 15 years ago, but did not want to end up on the sidelines. “I made courier trips until it really wasn’t possible anymore. I wanted to be among people. And a little money to go with your pension – that wasn’t the worst either ”.
“It started almost exactly at that time – with open heart surgery. At that time they inserted a heart valve for me, ”the pensioner looks back. Then there were complications with the healing process and he was treated further in a special clinic in Görlitz. Sometimes in life one evil joins another. Some diseases, far from his heart, tripped him. The kidneys no longer played along properly, and there were also problems with the prostate. None of that made the course of his heart disease any easier. On the contrary. “Many of the normal doctors shrugged their shoulders and were overwhelmed. One pointed in the direction of Bad Berka. That’s where the professionals sit, it was said. And they were probably right. There was already a feeling for me – they didn’t really want to deal with such complicated disease processes, ”Hans Dieter Ilmer looks back.
Today it is clear to him: The way to the Bad Berka team of Prof. Lapp was one of the most important decisions for his health.
“The professor himself was even standing in front of my bed and really took his time,” praised the patient.
Step by step, the specialists at the Bad Berka Heart Center brought his health back on the right track. A defibrillator was used, a pacemaker afterwards, and finally a heart valve was repaired. Hans Dieter Ilmer knows why the doctors in Bad Berka always managed to get back home in Holzsussra after a few days: “They are highly specialized and work perfectly together. It couldn’t be better ”.
In his village the widower lives alone in his house. But he has a good nursing staff at his side: “My granddaughter Saskia looks after me around the clock,” he looks at the young woman across the street. She organized the meal on wheels, drove him to the doctor, kept an eye on the household and made sure that Hans Dieter Ilmer was given an oxygen device. Because running and breathing are sometimes difficult for him.
He gets up at four in the morning and is back in bed at around seven in the evening. Fixed rules and processes – that’s important to him. When he’s alone, he likes to sit by the window and check out the people on the street. Or he watches the news programs on TV. “You want to be up to date,” he smiles.
For Saskia Dittrich, looking after her grandfather is a matter of honor: “It’s just the way it is. What kind of family would we be otherwise, ”says the young woman. And it’s good that she has trained as a nurse. But “simple” looks different for the granddaughter. “I have two children and somehow I have to get everything in order. But I always manage to do it. “
The next operation in Bad Berka is due soon. Hopefully the last one for the 80 year old. Then the second heart valve is put back in order and he hopes to get through everything well. As it has always been in the heart center. Once again he gets into the taxi and lets himself be driven to the central clinic, to be back and at home in Holzsussra after a week or so. Much on this day will already be part of the routine for the pensioner. He sees the familiar faces of his doctors, goes through the preliminary examinations including a strict corona test and is shown to his room. It’s almost like a second home for him, he says jokingly. But there is one thing he is particularly looking forward to when he is back in his little house: on roulade with Thuringian dumplings, his favorite dish.
The Heart Center of the Central Clinic Bad Berka offers a very broad spectrum in the diagnosis and therapy of various cardiac diseases.
Patients with heart disease are treated jointly and on an interdisciplinary basis by the Department of Cardiology and the Department of Rhythmology and Invasive Electrophysiology and the Department of Cardiac Surgery. This enables optimal patient care and offers a high level of security.
Contribution by Dietmar Grosser
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Prof. Dr. med. Harald Lapp, chief physician at the Clinic for Cardiology and Internal Intensive Care Medicine at the Heart Center of the Central Clinic Bad Berka, gives a very personal impression of his specialist department