Finding hope after months of bad news 

In the winter of 2018, Thomas Roesch was busy taking care of his wife, Trudi, who had recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of gastric cancer. He wasn’t thinking too much about his own health when a heart issue landed him in the emergency department at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton. “The team hooked me up to an EKG, and my heart was going wild,” Thomas recalled.

After some additional testing, Thomas met with Mohamed Djelmami-Hani, MD, a cardiologist specializing in heart rhythm disorders. Dr. Hani believed  Thomas might have atrial fibrillation, otherwise known as AFib. “What impressed me about my initial meetings with Dr. Hani and his team was their positive attitude and the care and encouragement I received,” Thomas said.

In early March of 2018, Trudi passed away, which was devastating for Thomas. Dealing with his newly discovered condition made the time that much more difficult.

That spring, to better understand his condition, Thomas was instructed to wear a Holter monitor, a small device that keeps track of a person’s heart rhythm. One morning, he received a call from Dr. Hani’s nurse, who asked what he had been doing the night before at 9 p.m. “Being a jokester, I asked her why it was her business!” he laughed. “It turns out, I had been playing tennis at the time and my heart had been going crazy. I didn’t feel anything and had no idea.”

From his results, Dr. Hani determined that Thomas should undergo an ablation procedure to treat his Afib, as well as have a loop recorder implanted, a device that allows his care team to monitor his heart on an ongoing basis.

On August 20, Thomas underwent the procedure. At a follow up appointment several weeks later, he was told the procedure had been successful. “In my last meeting with Dr. Hani, he said, ‘I have real good news for you,’ and I started crying. I told him they were tears of joy because I had not received any good news in the last seven months.”

In reflecting on his whole experience, Thomas said, “Each and every meeting with Dr. Hani and his team has made me feel important. I could sense from his team that all of them had an interest in my health. It was personal, and I really noticed and appreciated their care.”

How you can help

You can support the cardiac electrophysiology program at Aurora Medical Center in Grafton by clicking here.

From left: Thomas and Trudi Roesch with their daughter, Jennifer 

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