Linda’s Story: Retired Monroe Resident Finds Help for Irregular Heart Beat at Good Samaritan

Having spent 21 years in the fast-paced world of retail sales, Linda Brancato didn’t think anything was amiss when she began to have spells that felt like anxiety attacks. “My heart would race, and I’d get lightheaded and dizzy,” recalls the 67-year-old Monroe resident. “I felt like I had to hold on to someone or something, because I thought I could pass out.”

A cardiologist performed a range of tests and Brancato was diagnosed with or AFib, an irregular and often rapid heartbeat. But as it turned out, the standard treatment of blood thinning medications to prevent blood clots common with the condition were not appropriate for her. 

She soon learned about a procedure where a device called a Watchman is implanted in the heart to help prevent clots without blood-thinners. She consulted with Gunjan Shukla, MD, an electrophysiologist at Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). “I left his office with a smile on my face, knowing I was going to get the help I needed,” she said.

After the procedure to implant the device, and follow up, Brancato is doing well.

“I have to give a shout-out to everyone I met during this process, from the door greeter at Good Samaritan to the nurses and doctors. I have such gratitude for my nurse coordinator, Suzanne Bartman, for checking in with me and visiting me and guiding me through the process,” she said. “They were all incredible.”