I am a 65 year old white male w a long history of cardiac issues. I had my 1st heart attack when I was 35 and subsequent 4 way bypass surgery at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach Ca. Additionally I had a 2nd minor heart attack when I was 49 and at that time had a defibrillator implant. I’ve since gone through 6 device implants, multiple angiograms and stents, and have experienced more device firings than honestly I can remember. All of this treatment was done at Mission Regional Hospital in Mission Viejo Ca. As a result of the numerous and completely random firings I became clinically depressed, never knowing when and where, and not if the device would fire again. My quality of life deteriorated and I felt completely helpless with no control over my well being. It was a difficult time for me and my family. The culprit was the damage to my heart from my 1st heart attack. I had ventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation.
In late 2017 I became a patient at the Cardiac Rhythm Specialists affiliated with Mission Hospital and under the care of Dr Aseem Desai. Dr Desai immediately began an aggressive and proactive treatment including a change/new meds as well as additional testing and monitoring. My quality of life began to improve due to the care of Dr Desai and his group.
In June of 2018 Dr Desai performed a lengthy and involved internal ablation and I continued to improve. However, in August, I experienced a “storm” (multiple device firings) and ended up via medevac at UCLA Medical Center under the care of Dr. Shivkumar and Dr. Jason Bradfield, both world renowned EP Cardiologists. Additionally, as one of the great teaching and research centers of medicine in the world I was also treated by a team of truly dedicated and brilliant professionals. I spent two weeks at UCLA and interacted with literally dozens of physicians ranging from cardiologists to dietitians. Each one courteous empathetic smart and professional.
The diagnosis was external ablation through the chest. It took a week to perform the necessary pretests and line up all the Drs including the surgical teams. The surgery was done by lead thoracic surgeon Dr. Curtis Hunter. Dr Hunter did an extraordinary job and is not only a true professional but a good person. The ablation was overseen and conducted by Drs Kumar and Bradfield. The procedure lasted about 6 hours and I went to post op and the ICU for recovery. I was moved to a cardiac telemetry room and then discharged a few days later.
All involved felt the procedure went well but only time would tell. It’s now been almost 6 months sine the procedure and I feel great. I’ve not felt any heart palpitations or irregularities and have not experienced any firings. Also I’m out of Afib. Having lived w my cardiac issues for 30 years and with a device implant for the last 15 I am attuned to my heart and honestly have a piece of mind I thought would never be possible again. Thanks to my EP Dr Desai and Drs Kumar and Bradfield and Hunter, as well as their entire staff at the UCLA Medical Center I have my life back. Words do not suffice, but I want to thank each and everyone of you. I will never forget you and all you have done to heal me. God bless you all.