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Faces of Stroke Ambassador: Jason

Jason Serapiglia, 32, is not your typical face of Afib. Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is more common in people age 60 and older and often has no symptoms. Afib patients are five times more likely to have a stroke than are people who do not have Afib.

Jason describes his experience with Afib: “I woke up one morning and was much more aware of my heartbeat than usual. It felt out of rhythm, something difficult to describe but unmistakable when occurring.”

After a visit to the emergency room, Jason was diagnosed with Afib and prescribed Atenolol and Coumadin. This treatment did not work for him and he eventually decided to undergo an ablation procedure to try to stop his arrhythmia from recurring. “Since this procedure is relatively new,” says Jason, “chances of me going back into Afib or needing additional ablations do exist.“

So far, Afib has not prevented Jason from being physically active. In 2012, he was part of National Stroke Association’s Aquaphor New York City Triathlon team. “Time will tell if the ablation worked on a more permanent basis,” says Jason. “In the past, it was much more mentally stressing in the sense that I'd never know when I would slip back into Afib. Because of my condition, raising awareness about Afib and its connection to stroke has become important to me.”

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