Gabriel’s Heart Story

Nov 18, 2022

When getting ready to go into his job at Mercedes, Gabriel Muniz, 47, started to realize he was no longer running in or even walking fast. He said he kept feeling like his chest was really tight and just knew in his mind, “Something just isn’t right.” With all the responsibilities of being an employee, a father and being newly engaged, he knew his health was important and shared with us about how listening to his body and seeking care got him the relief he needed – just in time.

“I went to our doctors on site at Mercedes and they sent me to the team at Princeton to have some tests. When the test came back, it showed that I needed further testing that eventually showcased I had a 99% blockage in one of my right arteries and 75% blockage in two of my other arteries,” he said.

Gabriel became a patient of Dr. Farrell Mendelsohn, cardiologist affiliated with Cardiology P.C., and throughout his visit he was asked about his family history. But, Gabriel mentioned, his parents passed away when he was pretty young, so he didn’t know much of their health history.

Nearly a month before this happened, Gabriel learned about a health benefit available to Mercedes employees called Curaechoice. This is a narrow network to be used at any Brookwood Baptist Health location, which includes Princeton Baptist, which allows the user no copays and no deductibles.

Gabriel is shown in this photo with his fiancé.
This is a great benefit for us and assisted a lot with my procedure. I had to have three stents back in July of this year and now I am feeling great! I feel like an 18 year old again,” he smiled and said.

While Gabriel didn’t know how he was feeling would result in a hospital stay, he said he is grateful for the care he received at Princeton.

“Dr. Mendelsohn is the greatest and his office staff are so nice. And, when I had my surgery, everyone at the hospital were also so kind - from the people that came in to clean to those who brought my food. I never saw a bad attitude. Everybody seemed like they were happy to be there and that's amazing,” he said.

He also said being in a physical job, he was glad his doctor gave him plenty of time to rest before going back to work.

“He (Dr. Mendelsohn) was amazing. Everybody was amazing there. I'm telling you.”

An important part of Gabriel’s story involved not delaying care and listening to his body, which ultimately allowed him to avoid open heart surgery.

Gabriel is shown in this photo with his daughter.
When asked what advice he would have to someone his age about the importance of self-care, he said, “If you start not feeling right, get checked, go see somebody, tell somebody. I'm telling you, if people don't feel right, especially with the heart, you need to raise your hand and ask somebody. My doctor said that he was shocked that I didn’t have a heart attack.&rdquo

Gabriel’s next doctor’s appointment for follow-up will be at the beginning of next year. Until then, he is excited to be newly engaged. While there isn’t a date set just yet for their big day, he shared he is most grateful to be here and healthy for this next phase of life surrounded by family and friends.

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