Lagos Salami, an energetic father of two, never thought he would have heart problems – especially not at age 44. He didn’t realize that his poor sleep quality was actually the early symptoms of heart arrhythmia
“I would wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air,” Salami said.
The Fort Lauderdale resident initially dismissed his symptoms until he had a seizure in November 2022 and paramedics rushed him to the Emergency Department at Broward Health Medical Center.
Doctors diagnosed Salami with atrial fibrillation (Afib), which happens when the heart rhythm is irregular and beats too slow or too fast. In Salami’s case, his heartbeat was very slow.
“Atrial fibrillation can also trigger the heart muscle to weaken and cause symptoms of heart failure,” said Yordanka Reyna, M.D., medical director of the heart failure program at Broward Health Medical Center. “It’s important to perform the right test to make the accurate diagnosis and best comprehensive plan.”
Salami’s treatment included an ablation to freeze heart tissue to assist the heart to beat at a normal pace. Doctors also implanted a loop recorder to monitor his heart rhythm.
“I know my poor health choices of excessive drinking and smoking led me to the Afib diagnosis,” Salami said. “Dr. Reyna was amazing; she told me exactly what I needed to do to improve my quality of life.”
Salami left the hospital inspired to make a true change for his health. He stopped drinking and smoking and implemented Dr. Reyna’s recommendations to exercise and eat the right nutrients to get his heart back to the appropriate level. Salami also changed his line of work to one that doesn’t demand as much physical work to protect his heart.
When Salami returned to the hospital for a follow-up appointment, Dr. Reyna was impressed to see his rapid recovery.
“Broward Health helped me turn my life around,” Salami said. “I want to improve my health to be there for my children.”