As an avid runner and former U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, Gabe Patricio was shocked when a routine checkup three years ago revealed he had a leaky heart valve.

“I had zero symptoms, so it was a total surprise,” said the 56-year-old Washington, D.C., resident. “I exercise six or seven days a week and eat well, so I considered myself to be pretty healthy.”

Gabe’s condition – mitral valve regurgitation – is caused by a faulty heart valve that leaks blood instead of circulating it through the body.

“At that point, it just needed to be monitored, but the concern was always in the back of my mind,” said Gabe, president of Patricio Enterprises, which provides support services to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.

By late 2018, Gabe’s condition worsened and his cardiologist recommended Paul Massimiano, MD, for heart valve surgery. Dr. Massimiano serves as the medical director of Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center and is one of the region’s leading experts in mitral valve surgery.

Following this procedure, Gabe was grateful that he experienced a much easier recovery than if he had traditional open-heart surgery. The day after his minimally invasive procedure, he walked laps around the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Within a week, he was walking around D.C., and, two months later, he was back to running 50 miles a week.

To express his gratitude for the outstanding care he received, Gabe made a generous $100,000 donation to support the capital construction campaign for White Oak Medical Center.

“The gift was in honor of the wonderful people who cared for me and treated me with such compassion and professionalism,” Gabe said. “I wanted to do something to benefit their work environment and help ensure others experience the same exceptional care that I did.”

Minimally Invasive Heart Experts

Adventist HealthCare’s experienced heart surgeons:

  • Helped develop specialized techniques that use a small incision to repair or replace a heart valve
  • Performed more than 1,000 minimally invasive heart valve surgeries
  • Achieved nationally recognized results for our patients

Learn if you or a loved one can benefit from our comprehensive heart-care services