Jacinto's Story

When Jacinto Yambay went into congestive heart failure, he knew that his life depended on a mitral valve replacement.

At the age of 82, Dr. Jacinto Yambay, a resident of Paraguay, received shocking news: his congestive heart failure due to a defective heart valve had become life threatening. Without action, his life expectancy would be reduced to 6 months.jacinto yambay

Jacinto was not a candidate for conventional open-heart surgery, so he had to seek an option for a minimally invasive procedure. This was not available in Latin America so he pursued travel to the U.S., where his daughter, Liza, had been practicing medicine in Illinois.

Liza´s father-in-law had a similar type of heart treatment at Henry Ford Hospital under the care of interventional cardiologist, Marvin Eng, M.D. She reached out to Dr. Eng to share Jacinto’s story.

The procedure was arranged 3 months after the consultation due to Jacinto’s very complex valve structure. To allow for the best outcomes, the family opted to wait for a newer and better technology option that was exclusively available at Henry Ford Hospital in 2018.

In July of that year, Jacinto successfully underwent the MitraClip® XTR procedure. The MitraClip® XTR is a newer version of the MitraClip® that has longer arms and is able to treat more of the valve. It is useful when treating degenerated heart valves, like Jacinto’s.

Jacinto and his family were not alone on their journey. They had the support of international care coordinator, Mojisolo Dixon. She made all the protocols simple and the stay at Henry Ford a worry-free one.

Jacinto is currently 84. “I have reduced the amount of medicines I take regularly, but more importantly, my quality of life has significantly improved,” he says. “All of this was made possible thanks to Dr. Eng and Henry Ford Health.”

For international patients interested in coming to the U.S., call (313) 916-8443 or email InternationalPatientServices@hfhs.org.

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