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Magician Todd Lamanske, a Northlander, has been a mainstay at the Best of the Northland event for years. While normally showing off his slight of hand at parties, he now is using his platform to speak about heart health and warning signs after his life was saved during heart surgery.

Magician Todd Lamanske’s act is known all over the Northland. He regularly performs at such places as Trago Bar & Tapas near Liberty, Nick & Jake’s and Stone Canyon Pizza in Parkville and for corporate groups. He has also been seen performing roaming magic for at the Courier-Tribune and Gladstone Dispatch’s Best of the Northland celebrations.

However, Lamanske, known as Magic Dude, put the brakes on his magic to focus on his health the last two months. The focus, he said, is the result of several miracles he experienced.

“I had not been feeling great for several months,” he said. “My wife and I had our grandkids for the night. I just wasn’t feeling right all night. I told her to take me to the hospital around 11 p.m. This was July 16. I know it would have been really easy for me not to go and not disrupt the evening.”

Lamanske labels that initial trip to the hospital as “Miracle No. 1.”

“I have been told that had I not gone that night, I probably wouldn’t have made it through the weekend,” he explained.

“Miracle No. 2” came after an electrocardiogram didn’t show anything resembling a heart attack or other issue.

“The staff was contemplating sending me home,” he said. “My blood work was off and they kept me. Again, if I had been sent home …”

“Miracle No. 3” came when Lamanske was receiving a heart catheterization.

“There was attempt to put three stints in my heart and one wouldn’t go in correctly,” he said. “The procedure triggered three heart attacks. I explain to others had I not been on the table, who knows where I would have been.”

The procedure didn’t go as doctors wanted, the performer said. As a result, Lamanske received a balloon pump, a short-term catheter solution to help the heart pump blood to give the heart a chance to rest.

“I rested some and then I ended up with quintuple bypass,” he said. “Dr. Michael Gorton performed the surgery. It was a little funny as the surgeon who performed my bypass I met his family years ago. He performed my father-in-law’s heart transplant. It’s amazing how it works out and yes, I do believe God has saved my life.”

Lamanske was in Liberty Hospital for 11 days. When he was released, he performed a card trick for the nurses and techs that wheeled him out.

“I was ready to get out of there,” he said. “The trick now has been changing everything. I’m eating a cardiac diet, which is low to no sodium and giving up cheeseburgers and pizza. I am doing cardiac rehab three times a week. Once that ends, I will continue my new regiment at a gym.”

Lamanske’s exercise routine has included a focus on legs. Soon he will add arm and hand exercises as his chest is still healing after being opened for heart surgery.

“I am up for my next steps,” he explained. “I haven’t been given a timeline as to when I can return to work, but I am hoping to start back at the end of the month. I feel like I am getting there.”

Lamanske said he’s not sure why he survived, but he had an epiphany or two along the way.

“The first was years ago. I got the calcium-score screening heart test done at North Kansas City Hospital and was told I had plaque in my heart, but I continued to eat poorly and not exercise,” he said. “I want people to get this calcium test. Learn from my mistake. It’s around $50 or $60 and you get the results right away. Don’t ignore it.”

The second came while he was in the hospital, being cared for by nurses.

“I am planning a fundraiser for nurses,” he said. “I have no details yet. They take care of all those patient needs. I am impressed by all that they do and they don’t ask for accolades. I can’t wait until my energy levels return so I can do shows again. It’s very humbling and even more so with the outpouring of love, prayers and support.”

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at kellie.houx@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6630.

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