Alex's Heart Story

Jun 6, 2019

A Long Journey to a Strong Heart

Alex Nayda, Miami South Beach resident and heart patient at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center

Alex NaydaYears before his first open heart surgery, Alex Nayda suffered a serious motor accident in Miami. Although the motor accident resulted in a head injury, it also led to a chest wall trauma that Alex would find out, years later was the cause of a necessary heart implantation. Over the years Alex’s tricuspid valve continued to tear, and eventually he needed a tricuspid valve replacement.

“My friend is a sonogram tech and asked if she could practice with the sonogram by listening to my heart.” Thinking nothing of it, Alex allowed his friend to practice on him. “She heard or saw something out of the ordinary and told me to go directly to the hospital. At the hospital, the staff told me my tricuspid heart valve was torn and that I needed a surgical tricuspid valve replacement.”

Alex underwent a tricuspid valve replacement at another facility near his hometown in Miami. He then spent about a week in recovery before being discharged. However, soon after his discharge, his tricuspid valve was leaking and he often found himself tired, and short of breath.

One day in Home Depot Alex was out of breath and felt he “had no stamina.” “Another day I got so tired after visiting the primary care physician that I had to pull my car over and rest until I had enough energy to carry-on with my day. I literally dialed 911 but never sent the call.”

He was told that his surgical tricuspid valve had started failing prematurely and that the risk of performing open heart surgery for another tricuspid valve replacement could be prohibitive. Alex then started to look for a more minimally-invasive option, that would be better for his health and would have a shorter recovery time.

Shortly after Alex had heard the news about another necessary surgery, he turned to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, a hospital known for its award-winning cardiac unit, to do a surgical procedure that would fit his case, and help keep him alive. Dr. Saurabh Sanon, The Medical Director of Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center’s Transcatheter Therapy Program, performed the procedure and Alex became the first person in South Florida to receive a tricuspid heart valve-in-valve implantation. After a short one-day recovery from his surgery, Alex was sent home.

“I felt more lucid, back to normal, and remember saying to my family – I actually have energy. Tuesday I had surgery and by Thursday I was home relaxing.”

Today, Alex feels good. He is slowly building up his stamina and getting stronger physically. Thanks to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Alex is able to get back to his normal life, with a stronger heart.