Afib Slowed Me Down, but an Ablation Procedure Fixed My Heart

by Richard McCoy
(Jacksonville, FL)

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.

Back in June of ’99, I had seven bypasses and I was fine leading up to last year. I started to slow down. That was the worst part of it, getting tired sooner. Plus, I could feel it. When I was quiet, lying down at night, I could tell it wasn’t normal. My heart was beating really fast at times. It got worse as time went on. I was 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. And I missed not being able to play with grandchildren.

They diagnosed me with Afib 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.

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 didn’t last but two weeks. Then I saw Dr. Oza. I wanted to get something done about this. He recommended an ablation procedure.

I trust his judgment. You don’t feel or know anything during the procedure. I trusted St Vincent’s. And it’s not like I was Dr. Oza’s first patient. I had no qualms about it and I wanted this to get done. He’s a patient doctor. He explains everything. He listens. I like him a lot.

I was the first patient to undergo this procedure with a new eco catheter. 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. And the three-year-old helps with some of that. She knows where to put the recyclables.

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 be able to do without this procedure – put a roof on the house, front porch, finish my back porch deck off. 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.

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