Whether it’s as the vice president and chief financial officer of his manufacturing business or keeping up with his two teenagers, Jeffrey Strohecker is always on the go. When the 63-year-old started to feel increasingly fatigued, he sought medical attention and was referred to Broward Health Physician Group cardiologist Paul Rondino, M.D.
On the day of his consultation, Strohecker intended to work the whole day.
“I told Dr. Rondino that I had a business real estate meeting afterward,” he said. “Instead the doctor said that I needed to go immediately to the emergency room.”
Strohecker was admitted to Broward Health North for an irregular cardiac ejection fraction indicating heart failure. A normal heart ejection fraction may be between 50 and 70%, according to the American Heart Association. Strohecker was at 8%. As part of Broward Health’s continuum of care, he was transferred to Broward Health Medical Center for further specialized care under heart failure specialist Yordanka Reyna, M.D.
“This is a system-wide approach to the management of acute decompensated heart failure for a patient in cardiogenic shock,” Dr. Reyna said.
Cardiogenic shock occurs when the heart can’t pump enough blood to deliver oxygenated blood to the body’s cells. If not treated immediately, it is often fatal.
On Oct. 9, 2020, Broward Health Physician Group interventional cardiologist Violeta McCormack, M.D., performed a cardiac catherization procedure on Strohecker at Broward Health Medical Center. McCormack also inserted a ventricle assist device that helps a failing heart to pump stronger, thereby improving cardiac output. Over the next week, Dr. Reyna managed Strohecker’s heart failure as he received care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“We were able to avoid placing Mr. Strohecker on a heart transplant list because his body responded adequately to the treatment and he recovered,” Dr. Reyna said.
Less than two weeks later, Strohecker was discharged from the hospital with a positive prognosis.
“God spared me, and I am grateful,” he said. “I can enjoy my family and my life.”
By December 2020, Strohecker was back at work, wearing an implanted defibrillator and handling the arduous activity of his work life.
“I am lucky person,” he said. “There were a lot of people praying for me. Thanks to Dr. Reyna for saving my life and Broward Health staff for caring for me.”