A-Fib Patient Story #47
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.
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