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U-M atrial fibrillation patient is back in the spotlight

The University of Michigan CVC team has extensive experience in treating patients with atrial fibrillation (Afib), an abnormal type of heart rhythm, for conditions that range from simple to complex. Treatment plans are tailored to each patient’s individual needs, with the goal of helping patients realize an improved quality of life.

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Joann Drayton credits Dr. Hakan Oral with helping her get back to the stage.

Sixty-five-year-old Joann Drayton was accustomed to the spotlight for much of her life. An established opera singer and a choreographer for full-scale productions at Jackson Community College, she was active and involved in the things she loved to do. But when diagnosed with Afib some 15 years ago, Joann’s health began to deteriorate to the point where she felt she just couldn’t function anymore. All that changed when she was introduced to Dr. Hakan Oral, who helped her rediscover the spotlight.

Joann shares her story …

“Dr. Oral is a brilliant doctor who gave me my life back. I suffered from Afib and atrial flutter and also had a history of stroke — conditions that I began experiencing around age 50. Through the years, I was put on as many as eight medications, which eventually left me unable to do the things I loved doing. It was difficult for me to walk up the stairs, let alone perform on stage and manage choreography for the theater group at Jackson Community College.

At my first appointment with Dr. Oral in 2005, he immediately understood me in a way most cardiologists did not. He reduced my medications, which had left me tired and weak. Those that he prescribed helped eliminate the strain on my heart, causing three leaky valves I had been diagnosed with to mend on their own. And he did it all without surgery. He understood that less is more when it came to my medications, thanks to his extreme knowledge of medication management.

Dr. Oral changed my life for the better. Because of his tremendous knowledge, he made it possible for me to return to more active work as a choreographer and a singer. I am forever grateful to be back on the stage doing what I love to do.”


Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.