‘My last option’: Raising awareness about the dangers of AFIB

Jacksonville, Fla. — At 52 years old back in 2019, Kathy Foster started experiencing in irregular heartbeat. She visited her cardiologist who diagnosed her with AFIB.

Kathy tried multiple medications, but nothing was effective at managing her symptoms.

She then went to Dr. Saumil Oza, an electrophysiologist at Ascension/St. Vincent’s, for treatment.


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She opted for catheter ablation. That’s a minimally invasive procedure that interrupts irregular electrical pathways.

“For me, the procedure was my last option,” Kathy said. “I had been through tests trying different methods and medications at first, and got referred to Dr Oza.”

Dr. Oza said, “We are able to take a tiny catheter that we thread through the leg, up to the heart, and cauterize tissue in the heart that is responsible for the atrial fibrillation.”

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Kathy and Dr. Oza are raising awareness about the dangers of AFIB and want to remind women to pay attention to symptoms.

Kathy said, “I went to lunch one day, and upon leaving, my heart started racing and I thought I may have drunk too much tea. And my heart was beating and my Apple watch gave me a high heart rate notification.

Dr. Oza said, “It can be as obvious as a flip-flopping around in your chest, or palpitations. Or it can be something less precise such as shortness of breath or fatigue.”

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Kathy said she’s feeling much better and has a renewed focus on her health.

She’s lost 40 pounds since the procedure and intends on losing more.

There’s a lot of information about AFIB, including the symptoms and treatment options on the “Get Smart about AFIB” website.

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