Last winter, Matthias Beeguer started coughing, had body aches and found it difficult to breathe deeply. A COVID-19 test came back negative. At the time, there were wildfires in his area, so Matthias thought poor air quality might be the culprit. He continued to have symptoms for months with no answers.

One day, when Matthias returned from a vigorous bike ride, he was out of breath and his skin was blue. His wife immediately took him to a local urgent care clinic. After running some tests, clinic staff sent him to Huntington Hospital for emergency care.

Here, our team of medical professionals determined that Matthias had antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), a rare genetic disorder that can cause blood clots. In Matthias’ case, the disorder had caused severe blood clots in the arteries in his lungs. He would need immediate treatment to remove the clots, or he could die.

“If I hadn’t come in when I did,” he says, “I wouldn’t be sitting here today.”

Matthias had come to the right place for care. Huntington Hospital is the first community-based hospital in the greater Los Angeles area to use Inari Medical’s FlowTriever®, the first mechanical thrombectomy device approved by the FDA for removing large clots from big vessels like pulmonary arteries. This revolutionary device can be used without open surgery or general anesthesia.

Azhil (Alex) Durairaj, MD, medical director of cardiology, performed Matthias’ procedure using the FlowTriever®. “The entire procedure took less than an hour,” Matthias says.

Today, Matthias is feeling great. While his genetic disorder still exists, his condition is well managed, and his coughing and shortness of breath are gone. He is grateful for the care he received. “The doctors were awesome,” Matthias notes, “and the nurses were angels.” In addition to Dr. Durairaj, his care team included Victoria DiBartolomeo, RN; Gabriel Gutierrez, RN; Kalin Ichev; Joan Sachs and Victor Barajas.

Thanks to the hard work of the Huntington team, Matthias has returned to his normal life. Looking back, he realizes how close he came to never seeing his wife and kids again. “If anyone needs care, they should go to Huntington Hospital,” says Matthias. “I want to thank them for saving my life.”

Learn about the lifesaving FlowTriever® procedure by finding a cardiologist affiliated with Huntington Hospital.

If you are grateful for the care you received at our hospital and would like to share your experience, please send us your story.