Heart care at Stanford Health Care allowed Uduak to take her life back and return to the things she loves, like gardening, painting, and running.
Born with a structural heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, or TOF, Uduak underwent multiple corrective surgeries early in life. In her 50s, she turned to Stanford Health Care after not getting the care she needed elsewhere. At the Adult Congenital Heart Program, Uduak found an expert team of physicians and staff who listened to her and empowered her to continue crafting her life’s story.
“When I first met Dr. Lui, I just felt like he was a very gentle person. I was used to doctors coming in after reading your file, telling you what they saw, how they see you, and so forth. That was different with him,” said Uduak of Dr. George Lui, her cardiologist and medical director of the Adult Congenital Heart Program. “For the first time, I felt like, wow, this doctor sees me as a person, not just a patient.”
Dr. Joseph Woo, cardiothoracic surgeon and chair of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, led the procedure to repair Uduak’s heart. This included fixing a heart valve that had become inflamed from an infection.
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, Uduak opted to meet with Dr. Lui by video visit from the comfort and convenience of home. When she did go into the clinic, whether for a physical evaluation or to have her heart imaged, she felt safe knowing Stanford Health Care is taking every precaution to protect patients.
“We really made safety a priority here at Stanford Health Care,” said Dr. Lui. “We made sure that our patients were in a safe environment where they were social distancing, wearing masks universally across the health care system.”
Six months after her open-heart surgery, Uduak had completed two marathons. In the second marathon, she raised funds for Stanford Health Care.
“I'm running every day now,” said Uduak. “I love gardening and I'm able to dig and garden and do everything I was not able to do. Two years ago, my garden was nothing, and now it's back to being a garden again. I like sitting outside to paint… I am doing the things I used to do, but I'm not feeling fatigued, or swelling, having to stop, or feeling dizzy. So, it's like a new me.”
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COVID-19 Resource Center
George Lui, MD
Medical Director, Adult Congenital Heart Program
Joseph Woo, MD
Chair, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine
Adult Congenital Heart Program