Mother of bride with AFib finds success after ablation procedure

Kathleen Marshall is always on the go.

“I get up in the morning, hit the ground running and I go all day long,” Marshall said.

The 68-year-old stays busy navigating life with her three children, five grandchildren and a booming business, Kathleen’s Kids, to run.

Marshall also regularly attends ballroom dance and tai chi classes.

Even the busiest of days have never fully masked Marshall’s underlying condition of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).

“I had a heart cath years ago when they discovered I had AFib,” Marshall said. “Every now and then I’d have an episode, usually waking up in the middle of the night with a racing heart.”

Beginning in late 2018, Marshall started to have more serious episodes of AFib.

“I started getting really bad episodes where I ended up in an ambulance three separate times to slow my heart rate down,” Marshall said. “My heart rate was at a debilitating high where I could barely speak or move my arms. It got scary. I was scared I was going to have stroke.”

Marshall began to feel the impact of AFib in her daily life, causing severe fatigue among other symptoms.

At that time, Marshall was receiving care at a facility outside of Hillcrest HealthCare System.

“I really wasn’t getting the care I needed,” Marshall said. “I needed to know more about AFib and I also knew I couldn’t feel this fatigued. I had my daughter’s wedding coming up and knew that was going to be consuming.”

Little did Marshall know that her health care would soon change for the better.

“My doctor recommended switching to Oklahoma Heart Institute to see Dr. Sandler,” Marshall said.

Marshall met with Oklahoma Heart Institute electrophysiologist David Sandler, M.D., in January 2019.

“From the moment I walked into Dr. Sandler’s office, I felt so blessed that I was recommended,” Marshall said. “Dr. Sandler and his team did such thorough testing and imaging. I finally got the attention I needed.”

Marshall was scheduled for an atrial fibrillation ablation on April 22, 2019. Atrial fibrillation ablation is a procedure used to treat an irregular heart rhythm.

Sandler promised the mother of the bride would feel healthy for the wedding.

“I was already feeling pretty good before the procedure because my doctors at Oklahoma Heart Institute tweaked my medications,” Marshall said.

Following the procedure, Sandler was happy with the results.

“He immediately could tell it was working,” Marshall said. “He was pleased and said it takes about three months to settle down.”

By the time the June wedding rolled around, Marshall was feeling fantastic.

“I was totally on game and felt wonderful,” Marshall said. “Dr. Sandler made that promise to me.”

Looking back, Marshall is extremely satisfied with the patient-centered care she has received at Oklahoma Heart Institute.

“Every person that has helped me has been incredible,” Marshall said. “The way Oklahoma Heart Institute is organized is fantastic.”

Marshall recommends Oklahoma Heart Institute for exceptional patient care.

“I constantly now tell people to go to Oklahoma Heart Institute,” Marshall said. “I really want my sons to go there too. Everyone needs to know about Oklahoma Heart Institute.”

To schedule an appointment with a cardiologist, call 918-592-0999.