Five years ago, at just 31 years old, new father Kris Wiebeck began experiencing heart rhythm issues known as cardiac arrhythmias. Scared and anxious, Wiebeck turned to a friend and cardiologist who referred him to Dr. Bengt Herweg, a cardiologist and professor in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.
At his first appointment with Dr. Herweg, Wiebeck was told that he would need to have a cardiac ablation, a procedure that is done to stop cardiac arrhythmias. Although one would normally feel nervous about needing a heart procedure, Kris recalls Dr. Herweg providing him with a level of comfort and reassurance that he would be able to stop the cardiac arrhythmias.
“Kris called me after his initial meeting with Dr. Herweg and he just had a sense of calmness because knew that he was going to be the doctor that could ultimately fix his heart and his life,” said Kris’ wife, Melissa.
In the span of 7 months, Dr. Herweg performed two cardiac ablations to correct his arrhythmias. Since his procedures, Kris now lives a normal life and is able to enjoy time with his wife and two kids, Caroline, now 5, and Alexander, 3.
“To this day, I’m thankful to Dr. Herweg and what he was able to do for me because my care at USF Health changed my life. I have a normal life and a clean bill of health. I’m thankful to be able to do what I’m doing, whether that’s at work or enjoying time with my family,” said Wiebeck.
In 2017, Kris and Melissa made their first gift to the Morsani College of Medicine in honor of Dr. Herweg to help fund his research. They also made a second gift in 2019 and hope to continue their philanthropic efforts to help fund research to positively impact the health of others.
“When you go through something like I did, making a gift in Dr. Herweg’s honor was something that I immediately wanted to do as a gesture of appreciation, not only once but on a recurring basis. The idea is to help him and his research so that he can continue to develop techniques and help more people, which can be life changing,” said Kris.
Each year, the Wiebeck’s send a family Christmas card to Dr. Herweg, as the holiday seasons always reminds them of him and how grateful and fortunate they are to have found him.
“We did Mr. Wiebeck’s procedure years ago and their continued support and gratitude has made a deep impression on me,” said Dr. Herweg.
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