INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Lynn Driver forged a 37-year career as CEO of the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization (now known as the Indiana Donor Network), leading efforts that saved countless lives throughout Indiana and the country.
When he decided to step down in 2012 he and his wife, Debi, looked forward to new ventures and adventures. Always healthy and robust in nature, never did Driver think he also would be entering a twilight zone of life-threatening diseases and other health complications in a few years.
It began with a heart attack in February 2015 and a subsequent catheter procedure to improve blood flow to the heart. A week after going home from heart surgery, he returned to the hospital.
"I didn't feel well and they did a CT scan of my chest and found the tumor," he recalled. "I was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I immediately started chemotherapy for six months. I almost died on three different occasions while undergoing the therapy and other issues."
But his health ordeal was far from over. Later that year, he began to have trouble walking, even after only taking a few steps or simply standing.
The diagnosis? Blockage was cutting blood off circulation to his legs. One doctor told him that given his other health factors, surgery would be risky business and that he could "just go home and sit and do nothing" until the situation worsened.
The physicians he consulted with at that time told him they did not want to perform surgery on his legs because of the risks posed by his other health conditions. Placing stents in his legs was not an option.
For the next few years, the Drivers, who reside in Avon, were unable to enjoy travel, golf, family outings, coaching and playing basketball. Lynn continued to search for answers, someone willing to take on the challenge of fixing his circulation problems and restoring Lynn to the active life he and Debi had led.
Dr. Webb, who treats patients at Franciscan Health Heart Center, further determined that Lynn was suffering from vascular claudication, meaning the severe cramping, pain and cold misery in his legs and feet were specifically caused by artery blockages in the thighs. After reviewing Driver's testing, he determined he could put a graft in the patient's left leg and two stents in his right leg, using a minimally-invasive procedure.
"We help a lot of people with vascular surgery and in most cases you can see instantaneous results because blood flow is restored to the affected areas," said Dr. Webb. "Lynn was one of those people, and he had a strong attitude and outlook which obviously helped."
Debi Driver attributes the recovery to the care her husband received at the Franciscan Health Heart Center.
"Dr. Webb, the nurses, the aides, the housekeeping staff – everyone we met during our experience – were genuinely mindful of our needs," she said. "Thanks to them, Lynn can walk without pain and he's right by my side again."
Before his minimally-invasive surgery, Driver had virtually no mobility, but he has since gone on to create and lead the Indianapolis-based Skylight Group and Skylight Commercial Lending, business development companies which guide fledgling business start-ups and help nonprofits find new opportunities for growth.
More so, he and Debi travel and participate in activities with their children, grandchildren and friends. Mainly, they've rediscovered the robust lives they enjoyed years ago.
Having been active in many different areas before his health challenges, Driver's goal was to get in the best shape that he could. And he credits Dr. Webb for helping pave the way for him to do just that.
"I worked in the healthcare field for more than 35 years, and I knew Franciscan Health was always challenging the status quo in many different areas of medicine – but especially in cardiac and vascular care," Driver said. "Without their forward-thinking and highly trained staff, I am sure I wouldn't be where I am today. I am truly grateful for Dr. Webb and all of the caregivers and staff at Franciscan Health."
By Joe Stuteville
Media Relations Manager - email@example.com