Patient Stories

UF Health is proud to have been entrusted by so many patients to address countless heart issues experienced by people from all over the world. The gratification that comes from helping these patients is what drives us to provide the globally recognized care we are known for. Being able to tell their stories highlights the life-changing impact we’re capable of. By helping these patients with their hearts, we hope to touch yours with these heart-warming stories.

Michael gets his beat back

Congestive heart failure made any activity difficult for Michael. His heart wasn’t strong enough to keep his blood circulating. Now, he has an LVAD to help keep his blood moving. Michael feels great, and is back to his favorite activity – playing with his grandkids.

Michael Jansen

Noah’s heart is back in the game

Noah had his first open heart surgery when he was 11 days old. Born with a congenital heart defect, at the age of 13, Noah’s UF doctors performed his last heart surgery to replace a faulty aortic valve. Now 17, he can run. He can play. And he can breathe.

Noah Jaradat

Two transplants give Lizeth new life

Lizeth Chavez always knew her heart was different. Because of a birth defect, she lived every day with the understanding that her heart was weak and had fewer beats compared to others. Now she has a new heart, she’s in love and she plans to be married.

Lizeth Chavez

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.

patient story

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 Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

Will Manser

Cuthbert Allen’s fight for his life

When delivery driver Cuthbert Allen was in Ponte Vedra 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.

Cuthbert and Fiance

Novel AFib heart surgery gave Roseann her life back

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.

Roseann and Crystal

UF Health gave Annette confidence for her heart treatment

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 tracks.

Annette Powell

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.

Heart patient Nancy

Moving mountains: all Andy needed was a chance, and a miracle

At UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, experts faced one of their biggest challenges in Andy Herrera, who needed a heart transplant.


Heather’s lifelong battle with congenital heart disease

At 36 years old, Heather Lowery has defied the odds and set an example for adults living with congenital heart disease.