Listen-To-your-body-signalsYour Ability to Do So Could Have a Direct Impact on Your Health.

The city of Cienfuegos can be found on the southern coast of Cuba. It’s a tranquil, colonial town that’s affectionately referred to as “La Perla del Sur” or “The Pearl of the South” by most who know its name. It was here, in this city of tropical beaches and lavish Spanish and French architecture that Vicky’s and Joaquin’s families, both belonging to the medical community, as both their fathers were doctors, were well acquainted with each other. Vicky’s family moved to Havana and she was born there, while Joaquin’s family remained in Cienfuegos. However the families would often vacation on at the same hotel on Varadero Beach, where the two kids would play. But almost 50 years ago, both of their families, unhappy with the political situation, decided that they would have to make their lives elsewhere. So, as if by the will of God, they boarded their vessels off to their new lives on the very same day. Her father set a course to Madrid; His, to Miami. And they figured they would probably never cross paths again.

Joaquin would go on to do well in High School and attend medical school in the Dominican Republic. After obtaining his Doctor in Medicine degree at “La Universidad Central del Este,” he decided to head back stateside, this time to Philadelphia, where he would do his Internal Medicine training at Temple University. He enjoyed his time in the city very much, despite the drastic climatic and cultural differences it held with the Caribbean he knew so well. And so, he decided to stay and get his Certification in Cardiology at the Medical College of Pennsylvania-Episcopal Heart Institute. It was a formative experience for him, and he holds a lot of love for the people of Philly, but ultimately, he couldn’t stay away from the tropical breezes. So, he ended up returning to Miami to begin practicing Cardiology.

Meanwhile, Vicky had moved from Madrid to Tampa and, eventually, Miami. She, too, found her calling within the medical profession, and decided to attend Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson Medical Campus. Here she developed a passion for Cardiology and subsequently learned various skills in the field of  electrocardiography, Holter monitoring, and echocardiography. Soon after, she began working all across the city in hospitals such as Mercy, Hialeah, and Palmetto. As time went on she began to advance her field, becoming a Registered Medical Assistant, a Cardiovascular Technologist, and a Registered Cardiovascular Sonographer.

So as you would imagine, the two ended up running into each other. Amazed at their serendipity, they began to see more and more of each other, until they eventually fell in love. It sounds like a concocted romance novel, but it happened. These two childhood friends lost each other for about 30 years and ended up getting married.

That was in 2007, the same year that they founded Cardiology Healthcare of South Florida. Since then, Vicky assumed the mantle of President and CEO, managing the economic and administrative sectors while her husband treats their patients. A typical day for him includes working from the early morning to the late afternoon. It will usually come with many challenges that range from new patient evaluations to established patients needing changes in their management. As a cardiologist, these patients are often in critical conditions, and as such the stakes are even higher than they normally, this coupled with the grueling hours can be very taxing, but, by the end of the day, if he can help save just one person’s life, then that makes it worth it.

In regards to his field, Dr. Diego is particularly excited about new heart-failure medications that are changing treatment guidelines. He also sees progress with new procedures in coronary stenting and heart valve replacement procedures that don’t require the previous lengthy open heart surgical procedures . He also mentions of new pacemakers and defibrillators that are revolutionizing field.

As for advice he’d like to give our readers, first and foremost is “Don’t ignore what your body tells you.” Your ability to do so could have a direct impact on your health.  If you’re feeling strange, you better act on it and get it checked out before it’s too late. Some signs that, should they come up, mean business are tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, palpitations, dizzy spells, and passing out. To try and avoid any of this happening, he says that one should always remember that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and the avoidance of smoking and alcohol as this will significantly reduce the risk of heart and vascular disease.

By:

Andres Portillo

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