Dismiss Modal

When Alice Amendola, sophomore tennis star at Florida State University, suddenly found herself with chest pain, blurred vision and difficulty breathing earlier this year, she sought answers from the team at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH).

Once at TMH’s Bixler Trauma & Emergency Center, Alice learned the root of her symptoms. She had a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that had traveled from her leg to her lungs. This came as a shock to Alice, who was just 20 years old and otherwise healthy.

In Alice’s case, a combination of seemingly innocuous risk factors caused the clot to form: birth control pills and several holiday plane rides to and from her native country of Italy. She would need to have it removed immediately.

Alice had never experienced an invasive medical procedure and her family was in Italy. She wouldn’t be able to practice or play tennis for months. She was understandably scared.

Luckily, Alice was in right place for the highest level of care – TMH. She found both comfort and medical expertise in Pablo Rengifo, MD, interventional cardiologist at TMH and Southern Medical Group. They bonded over Alice’s Italian roots – Dr. Rengifo’s wife is from the country too. “He made me feel very comfortable,” Alice shares.

Together with TMH’s exceptional Cath Lab team, Dr. Rengifo used the new Inari FlowTriever mechanical thrombectomy system to remove clots from both of Alice’s lungs. Just in the last year, TMH became one of the first in Florida to offer the innovative procedure, which uses a tiny catheter inserted into the groin to remove the clot while minimizing blood loss.

Immediately after the procedure, Alice felt relief from her symptoms. “It was like a release,” she says.

With her family thousands of miles away, Alice says, “The nurses were so helpful and my team was so supportive. My coach and boyfriend were at the hospital with me the whole time.”

Today, Alice is in physical therapy working hard to get her lungs back in shape to get back to playing the sport she loves. While her pulmonary function isn’t back to 100%, she’s feeling great and has her eye on the prize: the 2022-23 tennis season.

Alice’s story is one of many that spotlights how our leading interventional cardiology team uses cutting edge technology to save and improve patients’ lives. We’re grateful for all they do and are proud to offer the latest and greatest in heart care to our patients – from both near and far – right here in Tallahassee.

To learn more about Tallahassee Memorial’s advanced heart and vascular services, visit TMH.ORG/Heart.

Content Apps ID
External ID
Integration Source
Integration Source URL

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare is a private, not-for-profit community healthcare system committed to transforming care, advancing health, and improving lives with an ultimate vision of leading the community to be the healthiest in the nation.