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HCA Midwest Health

Zona Newell Morgan

Zona was one of the first patients to receive an innovative catheter that reduces procedure times and improves patient safety during A-Fib ablation.

July 19, 2023
Zona Newell Morgan smiles while wearing gold hoop earrings and her hair is dyed blue and purple.

Zona Newell Morgan, 74, of Kansas City, Mo., was thrilled to help Research Medical Center make history in the most unexpected way.

On June 2, 2023, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiologist Rakesh Gopinathannair, MD, MA, FHRS, of the Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute at Research Medical Center, performed the first two cardiac ablation procedures in the Midwest using the new and innovative Ablation Catheter, a novel catheter with a flexible tip that is designed to reduce procedure times and improve safety during atrial fibrillation ablation and concurrent flutter ablation; Zona, was one of those first two patients.

“I had no hesitations with my procedure being new,” said Zona. “I spent 20 years working as a medical technologist, so I was familiar with and had experience with ablations. To be one of the first patients to experience this device in the nation? Sign me up.”

In March 2023, a rapid heartbeat would come and go very suddenly for Zona, who had no background or history of heart problems. It began with shortness of breath followed by episodes of tachycardia, which is more than 100 beats per minute. While visiting a sister, who happened to be a cardiac nurse, Zona had another episode and her sister told her she was in atrial fibrillation (AFib). Her sister wasted no time in sending Zona to the ER in Cass County where she was able to get her AFib temporarily under control.

While there, she was referred to Cardiologist Carrie Totta, MD, of Midwest Heart & Vascular Specialists in Harrisonville, Mo., where Zona had a cardioversion. Dr. Totta then referred Zona to Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiologist Rakesh Gopinathannair, MD, of the Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute at Research Medical Center.

“We are thrilled to have been the first hospital not only in Kansas City but in the Midwest to use this device on our patients and modernize the way we do cardiac ablations in our hospital,” said Dr. Gopinathannair, who is well known by patients and staff of RMC as Dr. G. “This catheter has been shown to be very safe, effective and decrease procedure times by an average of 40 minutes, which will allow us to treat more patients safely and improve their long-term outcomes.”

Zona remembers her entire experience at Research Medical Center fondly.

“I like Dr. G! The whole procedure went smoothly and quickly. I waited longer in Cath Lab to have my procedure than my procedure took,” said Zona. “Dr. G told me the ablation would take about an hour and a half, and I was only in the hospital for one night.”

“I thought everyone on my care team was very professional, kind, and caring. Even from the moment I walked into the hospital, I felt cared for.”

Since leaving the hospital, Zona states that shortness of breath has lessened, and she can go out into her yard and garden without worry.

“As far as I can tell, my heart feels like it is getting back to a normal rhythm. This is only a week later!”

The cardiac surgery team that was taking care of Zona, holding a duplicate of the catheter used during the procedure.
Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiologist Rakesh Gopinathannair, MD and team with the new catheter.
Zona tends to yellow Day Lillies in her yard.
Zona in yard.
Zona smiles while holding her granddaughter on the kitchen counter.
Zona with baby.
Zona and her family member smile while baking bread together.
Zona cooking with family.
Published:
July 19, 2023
Location:
Research Medical Center

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