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Patient Stories

Two transplants give Lizeth new life

As a young twenty-something who stayed busy with friends and family, Lizeth realized something was wrong during the summer of 2018. She had a nagging pneumonia that wouldn’t improve, and her ankles became so swollen that she couldn’t stand without pain. When her doctors checked her, it was discovered…

Michael gets his beat back

Michael Jansen, 66, is a tall, lean Midwesterner with a soft Missouri drawl, an easy laugh and kind eyes. He will tell you that he takes care of himself — walking several miles every day and being mindful of what he eats — and that he delights in…

A new outlook for Noah

New parents Debra and Zak Jarabat were overjoyed by the birth of their first child, Noah, a beautiful baby boy born with all his tiny fingers and toes perfectly formed, and his every breath a precious moment for his adoring parents. However, within days of bringing Noah home,…

Latasha Aiken’s Two Miracles

Latasha Aiken had always dreamed of being a mom. When a life-threatening heart condition almost took that away from her, she was heartbroken. Aiken, 41, started experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms in 2017, which she soon found out was caused by congestive heart failure. She went to multiple doctors…

He died three times – UF Health saved his life

At 49 years old, Will Manser thought he was invincible. One day, in June 2019, Manser was driving to Lake City to drop his son off at school. He stopped for some breakfast and then was on the road to work. Four days later, he woke up in UF…

Novel AFib heart surgery gave Roseann freedom from fear

  Roseann Vitassa is a retired international art dealer living with severe atrial fibrillation, or AFib. It means she has an irregular heartbeat that could lead to a blood clot, stroke and even heart failure. Vitassa’s heart journey started when she went to a hospital in New Port Richey…

Cuthbert Allen’s fight for his life

When delivery driver Cuthbert Allen was in Neptune Beach enjoying his hobby of remodeling homes and heard a pop in his chest, he didn’t know his journey to a healthy heart was just getting started.  Allen bent down to lift two boxes of flooring when he heard the…

UF Health gave Annette confidence for her heart treatment

Annette Powell had always been an athlete. She was a collegiate basketball player with no prior health concerns. So in 2007, at age 43, this Ocala high school dean was concerned when she experienced an attack of shortness of breath, dizziness and heart palpitations that stopped her in her…

Nancy Iafrate’s second chance at life

It was just like any other day for Nancy Iafrate. The sun was shining as she enjoyed quality time in Gainesville with her family and played with her two young grandkids. Smiles, laughter and joy were contagious during the play date as hours flew by like minutes. As…