After an ambulance ride, defibrillation in the ER, the diagnosis of HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy) was delivered. The cardiologist explained my children could inherit HCM but there was no discussion of other family members. Fast forward a few years and Dr. Naidu and the HCM Center arrive at Winthrop. Once I became a patient of Dr. Naidu, he provided the expertise and education about the importance of genetic testing for my extended family. Some of my cousins had a history of "irregular heartbeats" treated at local medical centers but they were never diagnosed with HCM until they consulted with Dr. Naidu. An additional 18 family members have had the diagnosis of HCM, as a result of the genetic testing Dr. Naidu advocated. Many live here in Long Island but with parents from Ireland, there was concern for family still there. The genetic documentation from Dr. Naidu was shared with family members in Ireland and several of them were identified as having the HCM condition. Dr. Naidu's work ensures that everyone in our current family, as well as future generations, can be treated to live our lives to the fullest!Thank you Dr. Naidu!
After wasting almost 10 months and seeing four cardiologists here in Florida, I chose to go to New York and find a doctor who specialized in cardiomyopathy. I visited the HCMA website, where I found the name of Dr. Srihari Naidu, Director of Winthrop’s HCM Center.
The idea of making an appointment, getting records and seeing a doctor so far away seemed overwhelming, but when I called, Nicole picked up the phone on the first ring — no long voice mail system to get through. I tried to explain and thought I would be transferred to half a dozen people and the end result would be that someone would call me back sooner or later. Nicole, God bless her heart, knew everything I needed to do and explained it in simple terms. She told me she helps lots of people come to see Dr. Naidu from further away than Florida. She listened to what I was saying and I felt she really HEARD me. She never put me on hold and she never seemed to be in a rush.
Last month I went to see Dr. Naidu. He is so soft spoken, so calm and so very kind. He reviewed my Echo, which was done in his office, and explained all the things he saw. He assured me that my heart could be fixed, and explained the additional tests that were needed to see if I would be a good candidate for ASA. If it turned out that I was not a good candidate for ASA, then he could recommend a surgeon that could fix the problem.
What impressed me so very much was the fact that if he could fix the problem, he would, but if he couldn't fix it, then he would direct me to the doctor who could. I also got to meet Nicole! What a delight she is and so young and pretty! I've called her a few times regarding tests and prescriptions, and she takes care of everything so quickly. I have no problem with taking a quick plane ride to New York to see such a pair of knowledgeable, kind and effective health care providers. Cost of plane trip to New York $300....seeing Dr. Naidu and Nicole PRICELESS!!!
Thank you so much for all you both do.Sincerely,
My name is Kevin Ulrich. I am 42 years old, and I was diagnosed with HCM at 35. It was rather shocking, since my whole life I was an athlete, soldier and construction worker, and nobody had ever found anything wrong.
When I was first diagnosed, I was seeing a specialist in NYC, who was more concerned with his ego than his patients’ concerns. After two years under his care, I decided to part ways with him.
Next I started seeing military doctors, who believed they were specialists too. We communicated a lot better, but their idea was to manage and maintain, which would not have been a bad idea, if they would have realized how bad I really was in the first place.
After several doctors, and nearly a decade of feeling extremely run down, I decided I’d had enough and started searching for a new cardiologist. At this time, I found Dr. Naidu and his team at Winthrop.
From the very first phone call, I knew I’d found the right place. Dr. Naidu’s assistant, Nicole, took care of everything. She dealt with the insurance company and was in constant contact with me. She even got me an earlier appointment because I was in such bad condition.
What I especially liked about Dr. Naidu was that he listened to what I had to say and then ran a series of his tests. When the results came in, he sat down with me and discussed my options and, again, he made me feel like I had an opinion regarding how they were going to fix my situation, which required immediate action.
Once again, Nicole stepped up above and beyond her call of duty and took care of everything. All I needed to do was basically show up to the hospital for my upcoming surgeries.
Dr. Naidu told me I was in severe heart failure, and was also damaging many other functions as a direct result of my HCM. He decided that first I needed a defib/pacemaker implanted. When this was completed, he agreed to perform Alcohol Septal Ablation. Years earlier other doctors told me that I was not a candidate for it. He felt that I was in such poor shape that I may not handle the recovery from the standard myectomy (surgery).
With my life — as well as his reputation — on the line, he performed the alcohol septal ablation and ended up saving my life. I went from not being able to walk 25 feet without shortness of breath to being able to walk the length of a football field one week after the procedure.
Since my initial visit, Dr. Naidu and his team have helped me understand this disorder. I had genetic testing done and have learned that two out of my three children carry the gene for this disorder. My mom and sister and two out of three of my sister’s children also carry the gene. Although it is a hard fact to absorb, it is much better to know and monitor so none of them advance as I have.
I am truly grateful for the care my family and I have been given and continue to receive from all at Winthrop. I am glad I found them and am now a part of their program. Without them, I probably wouldn’t be here today to write this! Thank you all for listening.Kevin J. Ulrich
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