For heart failure clinic patient Ruth Cervantes Perez, heart health hasn’t come easily.
In 2011, at the age of 63, Perez was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy with severe congestive heart failure (CHF). Since that initial diagnosis, Perez has undergone significant treatment to improve heart function, including a surgery to implant a defibrillator and a pacemaker. Throughout her treatment, these regimens helped stall her worsening heart failure, but with every treatment, her health continued to deteriorate.
As Perez continued to suffer from symptoms such as shortness of breath, weight gain, desaturation (even with oxygen therapy) and deteriorating renal function, her cardiologist, Roger Belbel, M.D., with Las Palmas Medical Center, recommended that she undergo a heart transplant or a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation procedure. With minimal improvement to her left heart valve, Perez opted to undergo an LVAD implantation in November 2014 in San Antonio.
Since that procedure, Perez is back in El Paso doing very well and is on the path to recovery. Now a Las Palmas Heart Failure Clinic patient, Perez has shown significant improvement, and she is currently enrolled in an exercise program. At the clinic, she meets regularly with the facility’s team of nurse educators, registered dieticians and exercise physiologists, all of whom work directly with Dr. Belbel to ensure Perez is on the best possible recovery plan.
The clinic provides education for patients recently diagnosed with CHF, or who have recently been discharged from the hospital, including patients who need assistance with medication education, daily weight monitoring, exercise education, nutrition education or home health assistance.
The Las Palmas Heart Failure Clinic is located at the Las Palmas LifeCare Center, 3333 N. Mesa St. To learn more, please call (915) 521-2108.