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From the Expo to the Hospital, with a Good Outcome

Jul 30, 2019

ASD Family-Member Owner and Vice President, Marty Czachor Jr., recounts the experience of attending the 2019 International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Convention in Charlotte and learning he needed emergency heart surgery. (Originally published in the July issue of ICCFA Magazine).

“It was pouring rain out the last day of the convention, so we had to run across the street to stay dry. Unfortunately, I could only walk about 150 feet before I was completely “out of breath” and I needed to stop for a minute or so. By the time I got to the convention hall, I felt like something was sitting my chest (and I was quite wet).

At first, I just wanted to ignore it and hope it would go away on it’s own, assuming it was just allergies from a new geographic area that I wasn’t used to. After all, I live a very active lifestyle and just the night before we were all out on the town bowling. Thankfully, my sister, Kathy, was there with me and wisely convinced me to go over to the First Aid Station at the convention hall. They ran some simple tests, including EKG, and everything looked “normal”. The only thing the First Aid Station could recommend was that I visit the hospital. I considered waiting to visit my local hospital later that night, after I flew home to Philadelphia. However, since I couldn’t walk without serious breathing troubles, I decided to just visit the local hospital, Charlotte Medical Center (CMC).

Once the ambulance brought me to the CMC Emergency Room. The doctors and nurses were very efficient and polite. They ran numerous tests looking for my problem, and I was passing these tests without issue. They decided to run a full physical stress test of the heart. Initially, I was pretty convinced I passed the stress test with flying colors, but it turns out I had 90% blockage in two arteries (one blockage in the artery called the Widow Maker!), which required a double bypass surgery.

While this story may sound like a travel cautionary tale, in reality I was very blessed that this occurred while the ASD Team and I were in Charlotte. I was able to have my surgery performed endoscopically by Dr. Joseph McGinn, the renowned doctor who actually created this less invasive version of bypass surgery (known within the medical community as “The McGinn Technique.“) I feel truly grateful to be in good health as I recover from the procedure. I hope my story helps others remember to listen to their body and pay attention to those warning signs. I am so glad that I did!”

-Martin Czachor Jr, ASD Vice President and Family-Member Owner


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About The Author

Jess Farren (Fowler)

Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at

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