♥ My heart condition: Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation
Occupational Therapist/OTR/L, Whitehall
After caring for her mother through her passing, Jan Chicka realized she was having odd heartbeats and went to see Dr. Nidhi Mehta. The diagnosis was AFib. After medicine and two cardioversions failed to correct it, she knew the solution was cardiac ablation. However, her weight did not make her a candidate for the operation. At the recommendation of her surgeon and after some soul searching, Jan went to the LVHN Bariatric Center and had a gastric sleeve procedure. A year later she had the ablation, and now her AFib is gone and she’s been in normal sinus rhythm ever since. With her fixed heart, new eating patterns and healthy lifetyle, her life is completely changed. She has continued to lose weight and gain health. Instead of lying on the couch, she’s taken a home health job, walks her dogs every day, bought a bicycle, swims and feels like she can do anything!
Jan is so honored to partner with AHA. When she was diagnosed with AFib she felt like she was 80. Her mother had recently passed, so she’d lost her best friend. It frequently felt like her heart was beating out of her chest. She’d also been diagnosed with sleep apnea and it seemed like she had no quality of life. But Dr. Mehta always treated her with such calm positivity and concern, making Jan feel like she mattered. The LVHN Bariatric Center helped her set a path to heart health with the gastric sleeve. So many people supported her efforts, and Jan wants to pay that forward. If she, as bad as she was, can change her entire life (including losing 220 pounds), anyone can do it. If she can reach out and help one person believe they can do it too, she’ll feel like her journey has a future purpose beyond just her.