Miguel’s story

    Miguel Barrios

    I had been to the hospital about every month for a year-and-a-half due to congestive heart failure. Then, I met Dr. Jose Marquez, an interventional cardiologist, who stabilized me. Dr. Marquez introduced me to the outstanding heart team of Dr. Miguel Diaz and Dr. Marquand Patton, Jr., at Palmetto General Hospital. I would have passed away if Dr. Marquez didn’t step in and take control of my case.

    I went into a MitraClip procedure with interventional cardiologists Dr. Diaz and Dr. Patton, Jr., with shortness of breath and woke up afterward able to breathe normally again; I felt 100 percent better. This procedure gives patients who are very sick another alternative to having open-heart surgery. An open-heart surgery, at my age and condition, would have been too much for me.

    Originally, I had open-heart surgery when I was 62-years-old. I was 78-years-old when I had the MitraClip procedure for my heart’s mitral valve ailment. Dr. Marquez stepped in to help me with my care and pulled me out of this hole I was in due to my failing ticker. Dr. Marquez took the time to guide my daughter, Yaimi, me and the rest of my family, through this whole process which included another procedure to help my aortic valve.

    A month later, I needed the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) combined with a very rare BASILICA procedure, of which only about 100 people in the world have had done. I was surprised to find out that in some cases the TAVR implant can cover the aorta and prohibit blood flow to and from the heart but thanks to the BASILICA Procedure I was saved on the spot. Dr. Diaz walked right out after my procedure to let my daughter know that everything went beautifully during the BASILICA Procedure. This procedure was actually done during the TAVR procedure by use of a heated guided wire to cut the leaflets of the TAVR aortic implant and allow blood flow to the aorta from the heart.

    Before the TAVR procedure, my lungs were filling with liquid. Because of this, I would regularly cough and have sharp chest pains with shortness of breath due to what is called pleural effusion. My feet were also swollen prior to the procedures. After receiving these life-saving procedures from Dr. Diaz and Dr. Patton, Jr., the swelling went down. It was a miracle! In my daughter’s eyes, it was a miracle!

    I had no pain. No discomfort. I walked right out of Palmetto General Hospital after the MitraClip and TAVR/BASILICA procedures.

    Dr. Patton, Jr., is just amazing! He is charismatic, has passion for his job and he’s very good with the family. I’m mainly a Spanish speaker, so I was surprised when Dr. Patton, Jr., was able to communicate with me and my family in Spanish. He speaks perfect Spanish. He’s a super-smart guy! Dr. Diaz’s recommendations were fantastic too! Dr. Diaz and Dr. Patton, Jr., make a great team.

    Prior to having this procedure, I sat down with Dr. Diaz at his Tenet Florida Physician Services office and listened intently as he explained to my daughter and I, the whole procedure and how everything worked. Then, Dr. Patton, Jr., was the one who came out, greeted us, and told us the day of the procedure what was going to go on with the care I was receiving. Dr. Marquez was also part of the communication team talking with me and my family.

    Some of the things I can do now do that I couldn’t partake in before include, walking on my own without bouts of shortness of breath (it was so bad that if I got up and walked just a couple of feet, I would tire and couldn’t breathe). I can now take a shower on my own. I’m living my regular life like I did two years ago before suffering from congestive heart failure.

    I am back to being normal again. My family is so happy I’m here to spend time with them. More importantly, I have a better of quality of life! I’m back to being normal again! I left the hospital, the next day, after both procedures and I’m 78-years-old. Now that’s amazing!

    I didn’t think in a million years, especially after having open-heart surgery, that these procedures would go this well. My wife has seen a tremendous change in my attitude about life. Beforehand, I was depressed. All that went away after receiving care from Dr. Diaz and Dr. Patton, Jr., I’m back into all of the things I used to do like gardening and being an outdoors person. Most importantly, I’m back to fishing with my grandson! I’m back to playing dominoes with my friends and getting back to my social life.

    I’m back to doing everything! The team that they had at Palmetto General Hospital and the way they processed everything was excellent! This is a hidden gem! They did an excellent job with my cardiac care for congestive heart failure.

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