"This book is incredibly complete and easy-to-understand for anybody. I certainly recommend it for patients who want to know more about atrial fibrillation than what they will learn from doctors...."

Pierre Jaïs, M.D. Professor of Cardiology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Bordeaux, France

"Dear Steve, I saw a patient this morning with your book [in hand] and highlights throughout. She loves it and finds it very useful to help her in dealing with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Wilber Su Cavanaugh Heart Center, Phoenix, AZ

"Your book [Beat Your A-Fib] is the quintessential most important guide not only for the individual experiencing atrial fibrillation and his family, but also for primary physicians, and cardiologists."

Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, nurse, blogger and author "Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness"


"Steve Ryan's summaries of the Boston A-Fib Symposium are terrific. Steve has the ability to synthesize and communicate accurately in clear and simple terms the essence of complex subjects. This is an exceptional skill and a great service to patients with atrial fibrillation."

Dr. Jeremy Ruskin of Mass. General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

"I love your [A-fib.com] website, Patti and Steve! An excellent resource for anybody seeking credible science on atrial fibrillation plus compelling real-life stories from others living with A-Fib. Congratulations…"

Carolyn Thomas, blogger and heart attack survivor; MyHeartSisters.org

"Steve, your website was so helpful. Thank you! After two ablations I am now A-fib free. You are a great help to a lot of people, keep up the good work."

Terry Traver, former A-Fib patient

"If you want to do some research on AF go to A-Fib.com by Steve Ryan, this site was a big help to me, and helped me be free of AF."

Roy Salmon Patient, A-Fib Free; pacemakerclub.com, Sept. 2013

A-Fib Patient Story #47

Seven Bypasses!—Then Ablation by Dr. Oza at St. Vincent’s Hospital

Richard McCoy

Richard McCoy

by Richard McCoy, 2011

My name is Richard McCoy. I’m 66 years old. My wife, Virginia, and I have three children, and three grandchildren, 3 years old, 11 months old and 10 months. We all live in Jacksonville, Florida.

Seven Bypasses!—Then Develops A-Fib

Back in June of ’99, I had seven bypasses and I was fine leading up to last year (2010). Then I started to slow down. That was the worst part of it, getting tired sooner. Plus, I could feel the A-Fib. When I was quiet, lying down at night, I could tell my heart wasn’t normal. It was beating really fast at times.

And it got worse as time went on. I couldn’t play with my grandchildren. I found myself sitting down doing paperwork instead of working. I do maintenance work at the Crown Plaza Hotel by the airport, plumbing, heating, A/C, electric, but 75% is paperwork. I’ve been a supervisor there for almost 20 years now.

I was diagnosed me with A-Fib last year. My family doctor saw it on the EKG. I went to St. Vincent’s because I had a level of comfort with them. They did my bypasses and thyroid surgeries. It was a natural choice.

Medications and Cardioversion Don’t Work

I started with a medicine, but it didn’t work. Another doctor tried a procedure where they shocked my heart to stop the Afib. That only lasted two weeks.

Ablation with Dr. Saumil Oza at St. Vincent’s Hospital

Then I saw Dr. Oza. He’s a patient doctor. He explains everything. He listens. I like him a lot. I wanted to get something done about this. He recommended an ablation procedure.

I trust his judgment and St. Vincent’s. And it’s not like I was Dr. Oza’s first patient. I had no qualms about it. You don’t feel or know anything during the procedure.

I was the first patient to undergo this procedure with a new eco catheter (Biosense Webster). Dr Oza said it was a new catheter being used that was eco-friendly, and it’s much better to use because of the construction. The new catheter is reusable. The old catheters had to be thrown away after each use. That was important for me because I like a new tool. And we do try to recycle at home, especially plastics. (The three-year-old helps. She knows where to put the recyclables.)

After the Ablation

I really feel much better. My energy level has come back up. I can tell a huge difference.

My wife and I both like to work in the yard. We have an acre and a half. But that takes physical energy. My wife is excited. We’ve got some projects planned that I wouldn’t have been able to do without this procedure – put a roof on the house, front porch, finish my back porch deck. And I’m back in a normal routine at work.

My Advice

If someone is considering the procedure, do it now. Some guys from work have been asking. They keep waiting to see how I respond. I’m doing great.

Richard McCoy, Jacksonville, FL
E-mail: pr(at)theconnectagency.com

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