Complex procedure helps young athlete with heart condition

November 21, 2023 - Keeli Frerichs had her sights set on her soccer team at St. Ambrose University repeating as conference champion and returning to the NAIA national tournament, until a disturbingly slow heart rate derailed her career—and threatened her life.

How fortunate for her, though, that less than an hour from her school in Davenport, Iowa, was a University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics cardiac electrophysiologist named Paari Dominic, MBBS, MPH, one of the few doctors in the nation who specialize in a new procedure to treat the condition, known as cardio-inhibitory vasovagal syncope and symptomatic sinus bradycardia.

Dominic performed a cardioneuroablation, the first and only doctor to do so in Iowa. 

Now, the 21-year-old Frerichs is living her life to the fullest.

“I went from exercising every day, playing soccer every day, to not being able to do anything,” says Frerichs, who grew up in Geneseo, Illinois, and is now a doctoral student in physical therapy at St. Ambrose. “Being able to exercise was something I had taken for granted, and it’s something I don’t take for granted now.”

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Tuesday, November 21, 2023