Saturday, March 17, 2012

Considering Cardiac Ablation

This is J. Michael Mangrum, a top electrophysiologist/cardiologist. Dr. Mangrum treated my eldest son  for his recurrent atrial fibrillation which occurred from age 14 on. He also did the cardiac ablation procedure on him a bit more than a year ago, in order to diminish the frequency of these arrhythmias.  Dr. Mangrum would also have seen Daniel had we known that Daniel had a predisposition to any type of arrhythmia whatsoever. In fact, he had a peripheral involvement in the cardiac portion of Daniel's autopsy.    At the end of January 2012, I also began to have recurrent atrial fibrillation. If these frequent symptomatic episodes do not cease soon or come under better control, then Dr. Mangrum will be doing cardiac ablation on me as well.


  1. As you mentioned in your post last month (Feb). Our beloved son Alex was called to be with our Lord in January. We know that the walls of his left ventrical were abnormally thick as the autopsy indicated this as the main cause of death (concentric left ventrical hypertrophy - not necessarily cardiomyopathy). What we don't know is if he might have had anything that would have shown up in an EKG.
    Our 15 year old daughter however, did have an abnormal EKG which was diagnosed as WPW in '06. After Alex passed, we were encouraged to get cardiac screenings (EKGs + Echo Cardiograms). Claire still had this abnormality and they strongly encouraged the Electro-Physiological Study to be done asap. Although she has never had any symptoms, Claire had to endure this procedure just 2 months after her brother passed. Mentally and physically challenging our faith and strength.
    Although it was very traumatic (mentally), Claire is doing well and the procedure was successful in eliminating her extra electrical path which it turned out wasn't dangerously fast.
    FYI - We are fortunate that someone in our community has setup some free screenings in our area for young people in our community in the coming weeks.
    Peace of mind is worth a lot
    Good luck with your condition. You will be in our prayers.
    -Steve and Mary

    1. Steve and Mary and Family,
      I am so glad to hear from you. Our family has been thinking of you and praying for you since last month. As strong as we admit our faith is, I remember well the shock and challenge of those first days, and first months. I am so pleased that Claire is well, and I am so sorry she needed to endure the mapping. Please tell her I am an adult and probably didn't do as well as she, when faced with the prospect. If there is anything we can ever do for you and your family, please contact us through the blog. I am comforted sometimes by thoughts of Daniel, Ben Breedlove and Alex fishing, and sharing stories with one another of their parents and siblings. You are in our prayers also.

  2. I would love to hear more about this because I have just been in the hospital for this very thing and they are talking about doing the ablation procedure on me. Did you have it done? I hope you and your family are all well! Hugs from Pam

  3. Pam,
    Please e-mail me (using the e-mail from this blog) anytime.
    Starting in January, I had five or six episodes of atrial fibrillation, and they were occurring frequently. Since Daniel died of a spontaneous undiagnosed arrhythmia, my father became stuck in atrial fib resistant to treatment for 30 years, and my eldest son had an ablation at 25, Dr, Mangrum thought I may well wind up having an ablation, and I still might. However, for me, it turned out that I had uncontrolled asthma which wasn't being treated, and as soon as it was, the a-fib disappeared. (A-fib can have many causes, from hypertension to uncontrolled asthma and sometimes, no cause at all is found.) I have not had any additional episodes of a-fib since then.
    In all honesty though, since I have such a history at under age 50, I am very likely at a later date, to require an ablation. Feel free to e-mail.


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