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Patient Success Stories (Arrhythmia)
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At St. Elizabeth Healthcare, we believe in the quality of our care and the expertise of our medical staff. But you don't have to take our word for it.

To learn more about specific patient experiences, we invite you to click on the links below.

Leadless pacemaker puts Marianne Long back on the court

During the 1970s, Marianne Long was a cardiac nurse, so she knows a thing or two about heart care. Now retired, 70-year-old Marianne can often be found playing tennis or golf — thanks to a revolutionary wireless pacemaker.

Before her wireless (or leadless) pacemaker was implanted, Marianne suffered from a heart condition called slow-progressing aortic stenosis. One of the most common and serious valve-disease problems, it narrows the heart’s aortic valve opening and cuts off normal blood flow.

“I was having trouble breathing and I felt tired and weak,” Marianne says. “I had to push myself to do things, even simple, everyday things.” Read more...

Remarkable tiny pacemaker fits inside Bill Thomason’s heart

A round of golf, a game of cards and the chance to enjoy life were top of mind for Bill Thomason when doctors told him he needed a pacemaker.

"Quality of life is worth a lot at my age. If you have to stick your head in the sand, it's just no good," said the 70-year-old who lives in the Taylor Mill area.

He likes a round of golf, playing cards for fun and walking, “up to a point,” he added with a laugh.

During a visit to his cardiologist, Dr. Robert Strickmeyer, Bill’s heart rate fluctuated from 30 to 160. Dr. Strickmeyer explained: “He needed a pacemaker because his heart was going too slow at times and then too fast at other times. So, he was symptomatic on both ends of the spectrum. The pacemaker will keep it from going too slow, and then medicine will keep it from going too fast.” Read more...

Stopping heart arrhythmia in its tracks

Jeff Flannery, 67, is a very busy guy. He has a farm in Union, raises peacocks and is a highly skilled firearms engraver who transforms guns and knives into heirloom-quality pieces of art. But a few years ago, he developed an irregular heartbeat, called atrial fibrillation, that slowed him down and diminished the quality of his life. On top of that, the medications prescribed to restore his heart’s normal rhythm not only failed to significantly improve his troublesome symptoms, but also produced some unwelcome side effects.

“Sometimes I think the cure can be worse than the disease,” Jeff says. “I was having a lot of trouble with so many pills. The cost was one thing, and also the way they made me feel. Dr. Hays said he had an idea that might help.” Read more...

AED saves a life

The text Jackie Bartley’s 17-year-old daughter sent him after his sudden cardiac arrest last February still brings tears to his eyes.

“I love you, Dad. I don’t know what I’d have done if I’d lost you. I know I don’t show it all the time, but I love you so much. God brought you back for a reason. He knows I can’t live without you. I promise you one day you will be able to live with me and I’ll take care of you … I love you, Daddy.”

It’s obvious Jackie is a man who has been forever changed.

A healthy former athlete, Jackie was a hard-driving type-A business executive when everything in his world came to an abrupt halt. During a meeting with several managers, he realized something was very wrong. “About 10 minutes into the conversation, I started feeling really weird,” Jackie says. “I was losing focus and had a surreal feeling. I was getting ready to say something and I woke up 15 minutes later on the floor in my office.” Read more...

“It’s your heart.” But we can fix it.

Shortness of breath. Profuse sweating with exercise. Painfully swollen feet and hands. Rapid heartbeats, skipped heartbeats. What if you had all these symptoms but thought they were normal for you?

That’s exactly what happened to Kendall High. But one day severe pain in her calf sent her to an ER, fearing a blood clot. That’s when she heard three words she never expected: “It’s your heart.”
“I had no idea!” exclaimed the active 44-year-old mother of two. “I exercised three days a week. I thought I was healthy. I honestly didn’t know it was my heart. I was tired a lot. I thought it was my thyroid.” Read more...

New wireless pacemaker means “I do everything now”

Marlene Patrick thought her heart problems were insurmountable. “I had terrible tiredness. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t even eat,” she says. Her heart rate dropped to 38 beats per minute. A normal heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. “About a year ago, my doctor told me I wasn’t a candidate for a pacemaker because I probably wouldn’t make it through the surgery.” Read more...

Afib patient benefits from new technology

Gene Goldsworth noticed he was running out of breath each time he climbed the three flights of stairs to his apartment. “I was gassed,” he explained. Gene was diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation, which was preventing his heart from effectively circulating blood through his body. But after a minimally invasive procedure using a new technology, he was feeling well enough to return to the gym just six weeks later. Read more...

Heading into her 80s without arrhythmia slowing her down

At age 79, Norma Benson was living an active life. But sudden, severe dizzy spells attacked out of nowhere and stopped her in her tracks. One day she experienced five of them in just 30 minutes, and she knew something was really wrong.
“That got my attention. I called my cardiologist, Dr. (Daniel) Courtade, and was seen in the office the next day. They made me an appointment the following week with Dr. (Thomas) Carrigan, an electrophysiologist. I had never even heard of such a doctor!” Read more...

For more information about St. Elizabeth Heart & Vascular Institute Arrhythmia Center, click here.

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