Young mother tackles tachycardia with care team’s caring help

Dr. Prem Ghai helps Whitney Barnett with her heart conditionOne Sunday afternoon, Whitney Barnett started experiencing pain in her lower sternum.

She had suspected something was going on with her heart, because at unexplained times, it would beat very quickly. 

When the pain didn’t subside, the Olney woman went to the Emergency Department (ED).

At age 31 with a 7-year-old son depending on her, Whitney knew she needed to get things checked out. Several tests identified a heart problem, and the ED doctor recommended she see a cardiologist.

That’s when Whitney remembered seeing a Facebook post about board-certified cardiologist Dr. Prem Ghai. At Carle Richland Memorial Hospital, Ghai provides a host of heart-related services for patients who previously had to go elsewhere for care.

So Whitney contacted Ghai’s office, and made an appointment to learn more about her heart condition, tachycardia.

Tachycardia is a resting heart rate that exceeds the norm. People with tachycardia often experience resting heart rates of more than 100 beats per minute, which can happen suddenly for no reason.

The anxiety of the experience can make it worse.

Having a cardiologist close to help reduces that anxiety.

“When something like this is new to you, it makes you far more self-aware of anything you feel or experience with your body,” she said. “It is comforting to know that my cardiologist is here and that I don’t have to travel or wait.”

She’s glad to have someone watching out for her.

“Dr. Ghai did some additional tests and started me on some medications to help control my condition,” Whitney said. “They also found that I had a vitamin B deficiency, so we have been working to improve that also.”

Whitney applauds the care she receives from Dr. Ghai and his entire staff.

“He is really thorough, and I can tell he genuinely cares about me,” she said. “His staff calls and checks on me just to see how I am doing.”

That lets Whitney focus on getting back to her routine. Her son keeps her busy, and—to keep things interesting—they recently added kittens Sprinkles and Coco Chanel to their family.