Dr. Warren Youngquist, 74, was driving on Hana Highway when he became so lightheaded, he thought he might pass out behind the wheel.
After he pulled over safely, his wife slipped into the driver's seat and drove straight to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where Warren immediately underwent diagnostic tests. The results: he was experiencing ventricular tachycardia, a life-threatening heart rhythm disorder in which the lower chambers of the heart beat too fast.
"I want to go back to the mainland," Warren remembers telling the doctor, who responded, "Warren, if I put you on that plane, you're going to be dead."
Instead Dr. Colin Lee performed a coronary angiogram immediately, which showed that Warren's arteries were clear. He concluded that Warren needed a cardiac ablation, a specialized procedure to disable parts of the heart that trigger an abnormal rhythm.
"Dr. Lee stayed with us for more than an hour and explained everything in detail," Warren says. "He was an advocate for my well-being, and just an amazing physician."
Warren was transferred to Honolulu, where he underwent two ablation surgeries and had a defibrillator implanted to correct his condition and then returned home.
A retired orthodontist and part-time Haiku resident, he credits the doctors and nurses at Maui Memorial for their quick and caring response. "They were there to make sure I got the very best care, that nothing was overlooked from the emergency room and cardiac doctor to the radiologists. They were all excellent. I could not have been treated better-anywhere."