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Meet Armando: How a Health Scare Led to a Transformation

By March 3, 2022March 8th, 2022No Comments

Armando checking-in at Marin Community Clinics

When Armando, 64, comes in for a check-up, he’s typically in good spirits. Armando has been a patient for the better part of the past decade. He considers Marin Community Clinics his trusted medical home. He’s quick to praise the Clinics’ services to any friend or colleague in need of a quality health care recommendation. Armando didn’t become a regular of the Clinics by choice. He was diagnosed with diabetes in the summer of 2012 and routine check-ups are an important part of monitoring his condition. His trust, however, runs deeper than that – he credits the Clinics for saving his life. 

It was a Thursday in 2016, and Armando remembers feeling off. An avid runner, it was unusual for him to feel so lethargic. “My legs were swollen, which is something I hadn’t experienced before,” Armando recalls. Fortunately, he knew where to turn. He drove himself to the Larkspur Clinic, where Front Office Supervisor Maria Dominguez arranged for him to be seen right away. 

Armando met with Carolyn Shore, MD, and explained his symptoms. Upon checking his vitals, Dr. Shore needed no further explanation. She explained that Armando was experiencing heart blockage and that he would need to go directly to the hospital. He began to reach for his car keys, assuming he would drive himself, but was informed that an ambulance was already waiting.

Within hours, Armando had a permanent pacemaker inserted at Marin General Hospital (now MarinHealth Medical Center) and a controlled heartbeat. While the experience was terrifying, he feels incredibly grateful for Dr. Shore and the Clinics staff who acted in the moment. 

Today, the heart procedure is a distant memory, but one that sparked a life-changing transformation: Armando walks 40-60 minutes per day for exercise, eats nutritious foods, doesn’t smoke or drink, and is able to work two jobs to provide for his family. The incident had a silver lining: it was his gateway to a healthier lifestyle and embracing the Clinics’ preventative care services.

“Our patients’ trust in us contributes to amazing success stories such as this one.” 

– Maria Dominguez, Front Office Supervisor

Armando still visits the Clinics regularly, whether for an immunization, an optometry appointment, or his usual check-up. He knows he’s in good hands. When asked how life might be different had he not known about Marin Community Clinics all those years ago, his answer is simple: “I certainly wouldn’t be here talking about it. It’s crazy to think that, but it’s true.” This reflection prompted a piece of wisdom he wanted to share – and for Armando, they’re words to live by: “My advice is for people to not wait when they feel something is wrong,” he said. “Marin Community Clinics can help. There’s no reason to wait.”