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Marquelle, a 44-year-old mother of five, didn’t know what it was like to live without the constant burden of severe headaches and brain fog. All she knew is that she was in pain and wanted to find a solution.

After a series of sudden strokes last year, she was referred by her neurologist to structural cardiologist Dr. Thomas Waggoner to see if there may be something wrong with her heart.

Dr. Waggoner ordered a series of tests including a transthoracic echocardiogram with a bubble study and a transesophageal echocardiogram. These tests allow for proper assessment of the flow of blood through the heart.

The tests revealed that Marquelle had patent foramen ovale (PFO).

“A PFO is a hole in the heart with a trap door between the atria that can allow blood clots from the right side of the heart to travel to the brain,” says Dr. Waggoner.

This diagnosis ultimately led Marquelle to receive the latest cutting edge transcatheter therapy and allowed for the opportunity for Pima Heart and Vascular physicians to begin a clinical trial utilizing this novel structural heart therapy at Tucson Medical Center.

Marquelle shares that her experience with the PFO closure was minimally invasive. She continues to be monitored by her neurologist and cardiologist but is happy to report that she experiences significantly fewer headaches and can now think without the brain fog she once had.

“Dr. Waggoner is someone I trust to find what is actually wrong. He was willing to take his time and find the cause,” shares Marquelle.

“It’s important to me that he takes his time and listens,” she adds.

Pima Heart & Vascular has a robust structural heart program for people with advanced or complex heart disease who cannot undergo traditional open-heart surgery. Our providers are actively engaged in many pivotal clinical trials and have access to many of the latest investigational devices.