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Dick Foster's Afib Survivor Story

Dick Foster

Name: Richard (Dick) Foster
Age: 69
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
First Atrial Fibrillation: Sometime in 2004
Symptoms: Extreme fatigue, anxiousness, shortness of breath
Diagnosis: Paroxysmal
Treatment: Ablation
Last Atrial Fibrillation:  February 2006
Benefits of Being AFib-free:  The greatest benefit of being AFib free for me is not having the fear of having a stroke or heart attack during an AFib episode. 

On a regular check up with my cardiologist Dr. Marina Plon, I was found to be in AFib, which I knew nothing about.  Dr. Plon immediately checked me into a hospital and after several tests I was administered some medication and my heart beat returned to normal within 24 hours.  Over the next two plus years, I would go into AFib periodically, and each time it seemed to take a greater toll on me, last longer and happen more frequently.  I would experience a substantial loss of energy, severe fatique, shortness of breath and tremendous anxiety. Dr. Plon disscussed the possibility of an ablation, and set up a time for me to meet with Dr. Marrouche at the University of Utah in Salt lake, in Dec. of 2005.  Dr. Marrouche told me that I was a good candidate for an ablation, and I was scheduled for the procedure on Feb. 14, 2006.  The surgery went as planned and I have been an AFib survivor ever since.  My sincere thanks to Dr. Plon for her knowledge and understanding of the disease and necessary treatments and of course to Dr. Marrouche who's unique and special abilities have made me a survivor now for five years.

Cured After 12 Years of AF

Warren Welsh

Name: Warren Welsh
Age: 73
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
First Atrial Fibrillation: 26/5/11
Symptoms: Bouts of unusual fatigue and anxiety Can now identify periods well before diagnosis.
Diagnosis: Paroxysmal
Treatment: Two Ablations
Last Atrial Fibrillation:  January 27 th 2011
Benefits of Being AFib-free:  50% increase in energy and aerobic fitness levels,improved sleeping pattern and especially the health benefits after the cessation of medication.

I am extremely grateful to Michele Straube and other sufferers who contributed their personal experiences on Steve Ryan's website that motivated me towards seeking a cure. After being told by my PREVIOUS Cardiologist I would have to live with the condition, as it advanced to a chronic stage, I would need medication for the rest of my life, you can imagine the relief I feel.

Michele Straube’s AFib Survival Story

Michele Straube Age:  56
Hometown:  Salt Lake City, UT
First Atrial Fibrillation:  Diagnosed more than 30 years ago while in the hospital with an unrelated ailment.
Last Atrial Fibrillation:  Cured of AFib November 2009 with catheter ablation.
Benefits of Being AFib-free: Enjoying aerobic activities I haven’t been able to do for 20 years; no dizziness; improved stamina; no increased risk of stroke.

I suffered from AFib for 30+ years.  Despite having AFib, I led an active outdoor life – trekking in Kashmir, backpacking extensively in Alaska, hut-to-hut hiking in the Alps.  My husband is an ultra-runner,  Although I was always the slowest on the uphills, I couldn’t let AFib stop me from being active.  My fastest half-marathon, walking of course, was a little under 3 hours.  ]

The longer I had AFib, the more noticeable the symptoms (fatigue, dizziness, heart palpitations) became.  In the last few years, it had become difficult to climb a set of stairs without wheezing and getting dizzy.  Much of the hiking in the Wasatch was no longer possible.  In 2009, I did a trek in Peru during which I was dizzy much of the time and had to stop to catch my breath at every switchback.  At the top of the 15,000’ pass, I decided there had to be more options for this condition than my previous cardiologists had identified.

After much research, I found Dr. Marrouche and the CARMA Center.  Based on his ground-breaking cardiac MRI methodology, he concluded that I had a good chance of being cured of AFib through an ablation.  He did the ablation in November 2009 and I have been AFib-free ever since. 

I can ride a bike again for the first time in 20 years.  I am taking adult ballet lessons.  I am going uphill virtually every day and able to carry on a conversation.  My story has been featured on local TV (http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=12959911)  and as a patient profile on a popular AFib website (http://www.stopafib.org/michele.cfm).

Click below to learn more about my upcoming Trek:

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