Local Hero: Mid-South Doctor Combines Love For Science & Patients In Fight Against Heart Disease

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Local 24 Cares continues our fight against heart disease as a media sponsor of the Go Red for Women campaign. One local cardiologist is combining his love of science and his patients, into a winning combination in Southaven, Mississippi. He’s our Local Hero.

Dr. Dharmesh Patel has been the president of the Mid-South American Heart Association board for eight years. This cardiologist will climb to great heights to get the word out about heart health.

If you're going to be a cardiologist, you tend to love the science.

“To be quite frank with you, therapy and heart disease are changing on a day to day, week to week basis, and that's what makes it so exciting,” says Dr. Patel.

It also helps to really understand what your patients are going through. That day came after four days of climbing Mt. Kilimnajaro in Africa

“It was the first time in my life I actually understood my patients because after you get to the very top at 20,000 feet you are out of breath, there is no way around it,” says Dr. Patel.

Patel says it was the hardest thing he's physically ever done. At the summit, he took a picture with the American Heart Association flag. That picture hangs in the office where Dr. Patel works at the Stern Cardiovascular Foundation in Southaven.

He says it motivates him and his patients to never give up.

"He's very passionate about what he does,” says Denise Cooper, RN.

“That was that moment when I really dug deep, and that’s where a lot of what I practice and preach had to come into play,” says Dr. Patel. “Because for me to tell my patients, eat right, don't do this and don't do that, believe in yourself, you can lose the weight… It kind of emulates those kind of experiences. Because when I was about to give up, I had to keep on thinking on things like that... Like my patients."

Friday is Go Red For Women Wear Red Day. We will have experts standing by in our call center to answer your questions about heart health throughout our broadcasts, beginning with Local Memphis Live at 9:00 a.m. We will then end the day with a 30-minute special at 6:30 p.m., dedicated to women's heart health.


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