Ali Saberioon had a great life. He took joy in his grandchildren and enjoyed playing soccer as well as keeping regular work schedule. He did not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. Several years ago, to address coronary heart disease, doctors had placed a stent in his heart to help with blood circulation. All seemed well. Little did he know, Ali still had major coronary heart disease with no symptoms and no signs.
Several years later, Ali broke a finger and had to undergo an operation to fix it. The attending physician noted that Ali’s blood pressure was extremely high and urged him to see a cardiologist at once. An angiogram revealed blockage of 90 percent in his heart, calling for an immediate procedure. As Ali later stated with a wry sense of humor, “I had no idea there was any blockage. In some ways I was a walking dead man.”
Ali immediately called on the Section of Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine, where he was referred to Guilherme Silva, M.D., director of the Structural Heart Disease Center at Baylor. Ali insisted on Baylor, “I knew this was the best place to go for cardiology.” Dr. Silva, a veteran of the field, immediately referred Ali to a Baylor physician who performed open-heart surgery. He also worked closely with Ali’s general physician to implement a program of recovery.
The source and cause of Ali’s heart illness remains unknown, so he monitors himself and works closely with Dr. Silva. Ali credits Dr. Silva with saving his life. “He made the right references and the right decisions. Dr. Silva is expert at pointing his patients in the right direction and to exactly the right expert. He cares deeply for his patients. I was very lucky to have someone of Dr. Silva’s caliber.”