Monday, March 04, 2019
by Madison Loethen • firstname.lastname@example.org
BHC | Exhaustion, weakness, shortness of breath and dizziness dominated once-active John Weston’s life. That is, until Weston met John Verbsky, MD, of Missouri Heart Center, affiliated with Boone Hospital Center.
In 2016, Weston experienced a stroke that took him by surprise. He was a lively man in his early 60s who enjoyed spending time outdoors and golfing. Sure, he had been extra tired the past few months, but he hadn’t thought a lot of it. He already knew he had atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat, and atrial flutter, a condition in which the heart’s upper chambers beat too quickly. Both conditions can cause heart palpitations and shortness of breath, but so far they hadn’t been something that he considered too serious.
Soon after his stroke, Weston was also diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, or weakening of the heart muscle. His cardiomyopathy quickly turned into congestive heart failure, meaning his heart wasn’t pumping blood to his body correctly.
“I was getting to the point where I was so weak and tired that I could hardly do anything. There were nights when I was going to bed at 7 or 8 o’clock,” Weston says.
In 2017, Weston had his first appointment with Dr. Verbsky. Dr. Verbsky is an electrophysiology specialist who is an expert at understanding and treating abnormal heart rhythms like Weston’s.
Dr. Verbsky used a combination of both medicines and procedures to get Weston’s heart out of this irregular rhythm. He did a procedure called an ablation that scars and destroys tissues in the heart that cause irregular heartbeats. After an ablation, the heart is able to return to a more normal rhythm.
“There’s been evidence that people with a weak heart, like John’s, are able to do better when they have their rhythm issues corrected. This was certainly true in John’s case. He is now staying in a more normal rhythm and has a stronger heartbeat,” says Dr. Verbsky.
Weston says he started feeling better right away. The fatigue that was dominating his life was quickly easing, and he even found himself wanting to get back out on the golf course.
“It was just an immediate surge of energy after that. My endurance is way higher, my strength is way higher and everything is just a lot better,” Weston says. “I’ve already played two golf games and walked all nine holes both times, which was unheard of for me before.”
Weston says the ablation turned his life around, and he’d recommend anyone with a similar condition or symptoms to reach out to the physician team at Missouri Heart Center for help.
Hear from Weston and Dr. Verbsky on YouTube.com/boonehospital.
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