Anjenette’s Lifelong Battle with PFO and Her Success Story at AHVC
Advanced Heart and Vein Center (AHVC) helped 49-year-old Oklahoma resident Anjenette (Anje) begin to live life to its fullest after closing a small hole in her heart that caused her a lifetime’s worth of health problems.
Anje’s Health Struggles
Anje’s life wasn’t easy. While she grew up athletic, she was always injured relatively frequently and never understood why. In her teenage years, she suffered from mini strokes that no healthcare professional in her youth would take seriously. Though she sat across from a neurologist and perfectly explained her symptoms, which were undoubtedly inline with those of mini strokes, the doctor did not believe her. He tried to dismiss her as a young, hormonal woman seeking attention. Anje was devastated. She knew what she was experiencing was real, yet nobody in her life seemed to be able to help her.
Flash forward a few years into early adulthood, Anje began experiencing frequent and severe migraines. These migraines were all but debilitating, crushing Anje’s energy levels and taking away from her quality of life. The source of these migraines were constantly misdiagnosed, and again, Anje was labeled as a hypochondriac seeking attention.
In 2014 and again in 2018, Anje was involved in a serious car accident. This resulted in the iliac veins in her abdomen being compressed followed by even more mini strokes.
Throughout her life, Anje traveled to the top health systems in the United States, seeking anyone who could help diagnose and treat her condition that she knew was real.
Anje Finds a Diagnosis
Following one of her car accidents, one doctor was able to find and diagnose a 34-year-old cranial leak at the base of Anje’s skull. This was causing cerebral fluid to leak into her skull, leading to the constant feeling of pressure and migraines Anje was experiencing. But what caused this leak in the first place?
A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a natural hole in the heart that is present at birth. This hole should close shortly after birth in normal development. However, in some individuals, this hole may stay open. In most cases, there are little if any symptoms associated with a PFO, especially when they are relatively small. This was not the case for Anje.
When Anje’s PFO was found by another practice in 2018, they determined that it was much too small to be to blame for her symptoms. They refused to close the hole in her heart.
Anje again searched high and low for any physician that could help her. She ended up joining a Facebook support group for people and their families with PFOs, seeking information on doctors that specialized in this.
Anje ended up traveling 11 hours from Oklahoma to Colorado to visit another practice near AHVC. However, like so many appointments in the past, this one failed to help Anje in any way. That’s when she found AHVC.
Anje called us and briefly explained her situation. We were happy to take her in for a next-day appointment.
Anje and Her Success at AHVC
Dr. Khan listened to Anje’s story and knew that the only way to help her was to close her PFO, despite how small it was. They scheduled the surgery in June 2020, and Anje was on her way to a new life she had yet to experience.
Now, almost a year post-surgery, Anje is living her best life thanks to Dr. Khan and the team at AHVC.
“He’s gone over and beyond what other physicians have wanted to do,” Anje said, crediting him with her newfound energy. Since her surgery, she has had a complete transformation of her life. She no longer has migraines, and she no longer suffers from mini strokes.
In fact, Anje is more active than ever before.
According to Anje, meeting Dr. Khan and closing her PFO has been a game changer in her life. She thanks Dr. Khan for his constant support, sense of humor and overall compassion. She credits Dr. Khan for giving her a second birthday, a new chance at life.
Anje says that she feels like a kid again with her energy and ability to take part in some of her favorite things, such as bike riding! She has ridden her bike for over 500 miles and plans to reach her goal of 1,000 miles by the end of the year.
She visits Dr. Khan and AHVC every three months for follow up appointments to make sure she continues to heal. Anje is thankful for Dr. Khan and their open line of communication. She trusts that she can always reach out to him for anything related to her health.
Contact Advanced Heart and Vein Center
Your healthcare shouldn’t have to be complicated. According to Anje, you should never give up on your health just because some doctor doesn’t listen to you. At AHVC, we listen. Visit us for comprehensive and compassionate cardiovascular care. To request an appointment, call us at 720-772-8040.