Patient feels 'reborn' thanks to revolutionary new heart stent

Salvador, heart attack, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center


Salvador moved from Mexico to the U.S., where he met and married his wife and had four children. He’s a hardworking, family man, who puts in long shifts doing strenuous labor. When, over the last couple years, he started feeling rundown, he attributed it to the hard work and long hours.

“After a while, I started to notice that with just a little bit of exercise, I was becoming short of breath,” Salvador recalls. Even just walking for 10 or 15 minutes could make me uncomfortable. I was a little nervous. My wife made me an appointment with my primary care physician, and he referred me to Dr. Shah at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.”

After the hospital’s medical staff performed a battery of tests, Dr. Shah, an Interventional Cardiologist, determined that one of Salvador’s main arteries was 90% blocked. Shah mentioned to Salvador that he was a good candidate for the Abbott Absorb, a revolutionary, new heart stent that had never before been available in South Florida. Absorb can offer important advantages over traditional metal stents. 

“I knew I had to do something. Working in my backyard vegetable garden with my son—that’s my favorite hobby. And I didn’t have the energy for it anymore,” added Salvador. “Dr. Shah told me that if I didn’t do something, I would be at risk for a heart attack.”

Salvador was the first patient in South Florida to receive this revolutionary treatment, and Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center is the only hospital from Miami to Jacksonville to commercially use the Abbott Absorb in the treatment of coronary artery disease. This device is inserted into a patient’s clogged artery to keep it open and restore blood flow. And then, over the course of three years, is designed to gradually dissolve and disappear, reducing the risk of future blockages that can occur with traditional metal stents.

“Dr. Shah explained the advantages of this new technology, and though it’s scary to talk about any procedure involving the heart, he made me feel comfortable—like I was a member of his family,” Salvador says. “He told me that this would allow me to have a better life.”

“After the procedure, I spent one night in the hospital, and went home the following day,” Salvador explains. “I was expecting to have some kind of pain, but there was none. The team at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center was wonderful. Everyone was so friendly and professional. They do a wonderful job. Two days later, I felt so good. I couldn’t believe it. I feel like I was born again.”

“Today, I’m back, working in my vegetable garden with my son,” Salvador adds. “And the way I feel, I want to buy tickets to Rio and run in the Olympics!”