Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center

Patient Story: Mark Staudt

Mark Staudt

Mark Staudt ran his first marathon in 2007, but he could never beat his time in that first race. After running in 2008 and 2009, he decided to get a stress test to see why his times weren't improving with experience and training. Everything looked normal, so Mark chalked it up to lifestyle stressors or not training hard enough. But after telling his primary care physician about his frustration, she listened to his heart and confirmed with an EKG that he was experiencing atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes the heart to beat irregularly.

A friend encouraged Mark to see a cardiologist at Houston Methodist Hospital, Dr. Faisal Nabi, who suggested a less invasive procedure to treat his condition. The atrial fibrillation was chronic, however, and eventually required a catheter ablation procedure, performed by Dr. Miguel Valderrábano. "They explained everything, and made me feel at home," said Mark, who had never had to stay in a hospital to receive treatment. "I was very nervous, but the staff and everyone there gave me a lot of confidence and comfort." Mark was back to running half-marathons within a couple of months, and ran the 2010 New York Marathon that fall, where he set a new personal best time — a true triumph over his heart condition.

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