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Ever since our program started, I have been thinking, "When are we going to find a patient
who can be liberated from LVAD support?"
Donna Jackson was one of the first patients that we placed an LVAD in at Stanford.
When she came to me, she was very ill.
The way I knew I was getting sick is I started this cough.
I got where I couldn't even walk from my car to the front door without having
to stop and sit down and take deep breaths trying to get my breathing back.
I thought I just had bronchitis, but when I
had an EKG done the doctor he said, “The good news is that you have no blockages, but
you’re going to have to have a heart transplant.” I just went, “What?” (laughs)
He said, “Now, you can go to San Francisco or you can go to Stanford,” And I said,
“Well, I will go to Stanford.”
They did a bunch of tests on me and talked to me about a LVAD
and I says, “Well, I don’t know.”
Left ventricular assist devises, or LVADs serve patients who have mainly left ventricular
heart failure. It’s a device that are used in only in patients who are Bridge to Transplant.
We don’t use that device in patients who are not on the transplant list.
At that time in our program, it was very early, and people didn't know about LVADs. And there
was some skepticism, "Maybe we can get her better with medications. But, one problem
with end stage heart failure patients, is that sometimes they're so sick that we can't
even give them the therapies that they need for heart failure, because those therapies
lower their blood pressure and give them symptoms. So, that was the case in her. The benefit
of having the LVAD was that we could give her
more of the medications at the recommended doses.
I told him I don’t want a heart transplant. “You know, I’ve lived my life.” He said
but I had to be put on the transplant list because LVAD is only considered a bridge.” He says,
“if your name comes up, you can say no,” And I told him, “Well, I have to think about it.”
And then, my little granddaughter came in one night and she curled up on the bed
with me, and she goes, “Grandma, I don’t want you to die.” And the next morning I woke up
and didn’t even think what I was going to say or anything. I just came in, I told Cheryl
I said, I’ll have the LVAD put in.”
I had it put in, in September of 2010. During the day, I wore two big batteries, one on
each side, plus I had to carry two batteries and a controller in my purse.
I had it on for two years and seven months, and my heart was getting stronger, I says,
“Well, if my heart’s getting strong enough “why can’t we take it out?”
She told us, you know, "I want to go swimming," and "that's my favorite thing to do and to
swim with my granddaughter and do water aerobics with my best friend."
He says, “Well, we’re not sure that you’ll live,” and I says, “You know, we’re
talking about my quality of life not my quantity.” I said, “I want my quality, even if it’s
just for a year.
We did the tests that were necessary to show that her heart had recovered,
But I was really hesitant to be honest, because that was a high-risk operation.
So then we thought, "Well, how can we help this woman?"
The way that we stopped the support on her was very innovative
and has never been done in the country, and
I think that has go to our surgical team and interventional radiology team's credit. We
thought, "What if we can stop the support from the LVAD by putting a catheter inside
her body, not doing an operation, and having it clot off?" Then we could keep the LVAD
in and just clip the line that comes out, and it would be a very minor procedure.
She did very well with the surgery. Of course, she still needs very close monitoring.
But she's smiling and she's
happy, and I can happily tell you that she's swimming with her granddaughter last week.
I just enjoy being free.
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LVAD Removal at Stanford: Donna Jackson's Story

267 タグ追加 保存
Ting Huang 2016 年 5 月 17 日 に公開
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