Joana Silva Testimonial featuring ventricular arrhythmia care by Dr. Erik Beyer
March 17 2021 – Dr. Erik Beyer’s expertise in a life-saving left sympathectomy procedure helped stabilize Joana’s heart and gives her hope of one day reuniting with her children and grandchildren.   
My heart began beating extremely fast. My significant other, Sergio, attempted to check my blood pressure. The results were off the charts. It was so high that the machine itself was unable to provide a definite reading. As a result, we decided to go to the hospital to seek treatment for my condition. Sure enough, my heart rate was over 190 BPM (beats per minute) which was much higher than normal. Once I got settled in at the hospital, several attending doctors and nurses began to evaluate my condition in greater detail. At this point, my heart rate maintained its high reading between 180-200 BPM. 
Due to this, the best course of treatment as decided by the team attending to me was decided to be an emergency procedure that consisted of stopping and restarting my heart. To undergo this process, my heart was cooled with ice and restarted to around 30-40 BPM. My heartbeat gradually rose until I became stable. It was also during this procedure that a defibrillator was installed. Despite the procedure, my heart rate became erratic once again, and two cardiac ablations had to be performed by a cardiologist. The procedures were unfortunately deemed unsuccessful as a consequence of a life-threatening ventricular arrhythmia that I had. The team called in Dr. Erik Beyer, a specialist in cardiothoracic surgery, to consult. 
Dr. Beyer wasted no time in diagnosing my condition and planning treatment. He also was wary of the fact that I suffer from Chagas disease, a malady caused by an insect bite that can result in an enlarged heart among other cardiac complications. This terrified me to the core. I had already lost four siblings to various heart ailments, and didn’t want to suffer the same fate. Dr. Beyer performed a left sympathectomy to treat my previously mentioned ventricular arrhythmia. The surgery took place at Florida Medical Center, a campus of North Shore in Fort Lauderdale and I immediately began to feel relief upon exiting the procedure. 
Daniel Mock, a clinical cardiothoracic nurse practitioner with Dr. Beyer’s staff also helped to explain everything surrounding my heart condition. He treated us like family and created a very safe and caring environment that allowed us to fully digest the details of my condition. The rest of the team was also phenomenal in helping me through my recovery. Despite having heart surgery during the COVID-19 Pandemic, I never felt at any moment that my life wasn’t in good hands. 
With a healthy heart, I look forward to the opportunity to go on vacation to visit my extended family in Brazil once COVID-19 is under control and it becomes safe for me to travel. My daughter is a nurse in Brazil. I have been speaking to her virtually every day during my ordeal, and she is overly impressed with the care I’ve received from Dr. Beyer and my care team. I have other children and grandchildren in Brazil as well. It is thanks to Dr. Beyer’s work that I can feel confident in the fact that I will see them again soon.   
By the blessing of God and the dedication of Dr. Beyer and the medical staff at the hospital, I’m here today to live life to the fullest and share more time with my family. I have found angels within Dr. Beyer, Daniel and my care team. I am eternally thankful. 
For more information on Dr. Erik Beyer visit: