Triumph Over AFib: Mark’s Story

After Mark Staudt ran his first marathon, with each subsequent marathon he could not beat his time from that first race. He decided to get a stress test to see why his times weren't improving with experience and training. After the test results came back normal, Mark chalked up slower run times to lifestyle stressors or not training hard enough.

After telling his primary care physician about his frustration, she listened to his heart and confirmed with an electrocardiogram (EKG) that he was experiencing atrial fibrillation (AFib), a condition that causes the heart to beat irregularly.

A friend encouraged Mark to see Houston Methodist cardiologist, Dr. Faisal Nabi, who suggested a less-invasive procedure to treat his condition. Mark's AFib was chronic, however, and eventually required a catheter ablation procedure that was 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 before.

“I was 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 went on to run the New York Marathon, setting a new personal best time — a true triumph over his heart condition.  

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