Flu impact on the heart

Life & Health

One man went from perfectly healthy to nearly needing a heart transplant in a matter of months! All because he didn’t know he had the flu.

Alfino Donastorg has always been active, but two years ago he got sick.

Alfino Donastorg, Restaurant Manager said, “I thought it was just a common cold.”

When he became short of breath, he ended up in the hospital.

Donastorg said, “They were telling me my heart was failing, a heart transplant is imminent.”

Alfino had cardiomyopathy – a weakening of the heart muscle that led to congestive heart failure at age 38.

Yordanka Reyna, MD, Cardiologist, Specializes in Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant, Reyna Heart Center said, “He was a healthy young man who was just exposed to the flu and it attacked his heart.”

Cardiologist Yordanka Reyna says the flu causes inflammation that can quickly lead to cardiac symptoms.

Doctor Reyna said, “Shortness of breath, leg swelling, a cough at night.”

Doctor Reyna says heart disease due to flu can happen to anyone, so if you think you have the flu, get help.

“Go to the emergency room, go to their doctors, they will be tested very easily and very fast,” said Doctor Reyna.

Doctor Reyna worked to keep Alfino off the heart transplant list.

“We managed to get him better with intravenous medicines, diuretics,” said Reyna.

Alfino still can’t believe how close he came to death.

Donastorg said, “Your body tells you, hey listen, there’s something that’s not right, please get checked out.”

Alfino’s message to everyone: Don’t ignore the signs!

Alfino will continue to be closely monitored and will most likely be on heart medications for the rest of his life.

Doctor Reyna reminds everyone to get vaccinated for the flu every season because the strains change.

She says if you do have the flu and you’re taking an anti-viral medication like Tamiflu but doesn’t improve within a week, call your doctor or get to the ER.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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