John Petrick loves the simple things in life. He revels in time spent with family, reeling in a big catch and feeling the crisp wind in his face during a morning bike ride.
However, for a man that enjoys such simple pleasures, John’s heart health is quite complicated. For a long time, his well-being felt like a puzzle that no one could quite figure out.
John’s complex heart issues first began over two decades ago, when he nearly died after his heart suddenly went into an abnormal rhythm.
After the life-threatening heart episode, specialists in California diagnosed him with ventricular tachycardia (VT), a severe heart condition in which abnormal electrical signals cause the heart to beat faster. Then later, he was also diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular and rapid heart rhythm that can cause heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
From defibrillators to heart surgeries, John and his Californian care team worked hard to manage the ups and downs of his heart conditions. But after spending years in the Golden State, John was ready to take on a new adventure: moving over 2,000 miles away to Georgia.
“The decision to move to Georgia was difficult because of my heart conditions,” John shared. “I needed a doctor who would really take the time to sort everything out.”
Luckily, it wasn’t long before John was connected with an entire team of Wellstar heart experts delivering comprehensive care all within the same health system.
Finding the right rhythm
Before being referred for specialty care by his Wellstar primary care provider, John briefly received heart care from another health system in Georgia. However, he had some reservations about his treatment.
“Honestly, it wasn’t the level of care – especially in terms of empathy – that I was used to,” he admitted. “And that’s a scary situation when you have a condition like mine.”
That was never a problem at Wellstar. As soon as he met with Wellstar Health System Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology Dr. Narendra Kanuru, John knew the physician was in his corner.
“I could tell Dr. Kanuru really took the time to study my case,” John said, remembering his first visit with the specialist. “He recited my medical history from the last 20 years, without having to look at any papers.”
Since then, they have developed a great healthcare partnership, always keeping an open line of communication.
“I feel so comfortable expressing any fears or apprehensions about my conditions or treatment with Dr. Kanuru. He’s always very receptive,” John shared. “His level of empathy, professional expertise and ability to communicate and understand me is just as valuable as his technical, medical skills.”
Along with Dr. Kanuru’s expertise, Wellstar Cardiologist Dr. David Caras provides an essential complement to John’s cardiovascular care. While a cardiac electrophysiologist hones in on the functional and rhythmic areas of the heart, a cardiologist offers a broad spectrum of heart care.
While each focusing on their areas of expertise, the two heart specialists collaborate to create the best treatment plan for John, and adjust it along the way.
“Dr. Kanuru and Dr. Caras work together as a team,” John said. “It’s truly remarkable and beautiful. Often, I’ll go to see one of the doctors and they’ll mention a conversation they had about me with the other recently.”