Like many 16-year olds, Tim Deits was always moving – when not playing hockey, Tim could typically be found working out at his parents’ home gym in Huntington Beach, CA. One day, he drank a pre-workout drink and hit the weights in the garage. But shortly after he started his workout, he went into cardiac arrest and collapsed. Tim’s parents, Michelle and Ted, found their young, healthy teenage son turning blue on the floor as they returned home from walking the dog.
Ted immediately began administering CPR as his wife, Michelle, called 9-1-1. When paramedics arrived, they loaded Tim into the ambulance and used the defibrillator twice to try and reset Tim’s heartbeat. On the way to the hospital in Newport Beach, CA, they used the defibrillator once again and got a pulse, but Tim’s body had gone into cardiogenic shock: a condition that occurs when vital organs start to shut down due to lack of oxygen.
By the time Tim arrived at the hospital, doctors Anthony Caffarelli, MD, Radhakrishan Gandhi, MD and Mahmoud Eslami-Farsani, MD knew that they needed to restore blood flow to Tim’s organs right away. The physicians inserted two Impella® heart pumps: the Impella CP and Impella RP to support Tim’s heart. Just two days prior, the team became certified to administer the Impella RP device.
While on Impella support, Tim’s heart muscle was able to rest and recover, and blood flow was restored to his organs. Though his doctors initially thought Tim may need to receive a heart transplant, his heart recovered well enough to avoid it.
Days later, the Impella pumps were removed and Tim’s heart began beating on its own again. Because Tim had gone into cardiogenic shock, doctors had put him into a thermo-induced coma for several days to slow his organs from shutting down. His parents feared that there could be potential neurological damage from the coma. But when he came to, Tim had two questions right away: “Can I have a glass of water?” and “Where is my phone?”
Tim was back on Snapchat right away, catching up on the social life he’d been absent from in the days since his heart attack. After his week long recovery in the hospital, he returned home just in time for Thanksgiving. A few days after he returned home, Tim attended one of his team’s hockey games at school.
Today, Tim is feeling back to normal. Genetic tests confirmed his heart event was due to Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD), a rare form of cardiomyopathy in which the heart muscle of the right ventricle (RV) is replaced by fat and/or fibrous tissue causing the heart muscle to weaken. His doctors placed an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator – an ICD – to monitor his heartbeat, but he feels so good that he’s back to his normal and active life – playing hockey, exercising and snowboarding.
What should have been one of the happiest days of Jessica Grib’s life quickly turned into a nightmare when she developed peripartum cardiomyopathy.
Scott Arnold learned his heart was severely weak, but due to previous bypass, he was not a candidate for surgery. That’s when Scott’s cardiologist introduced him to Protected PCI with Impella®.
Mongin Smyly always considered himself to be in good health, until last year when his heart began to fail. His constant fatigue and weakness left him feeling hopeless. That’s when Dr. Ayaz Rahman and his Protected PCI Coordinator, Miranda James, identified Mongin as an appropriate candidate for a Protected PCI procedure with support of the Impella® heart pump. Following his procedure, Mongin experienced an improved quality of life and returned to his job at Lowe’s Home Improvement.
Jara Herron, mother of six and a salon and spa owner in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was eight months pregnant with her youngest child when she began feeling extremely ill. Ten days after her daughter was born, Jara was having difficulty breathing. Her husband called 9-1-1 and Jara was taken via helicopter to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa.
Justin Redman has lived with advanced heart disease for years and considers himself to have “the worst heart you’ve ever seen.” So when his symptoms led him to see his cardiologist, the fear of undergoing another procedure was taking a toll. That’s when Protected PCI with Impella® was first introduced to him.
Erl Rabe has a family history of heart disease but still always considered himself to be in good health. But when he began feeling severe chest pain, he knew he needed to act quickly.
After a recent quadruple bypass procedure, Mary Watson felt little to no improvement in her discomfort. Since females experience different, often more subtle symptoms, it was difficult to determine the cause of her pain. Convinced something wasn’t right, she returned to Loma Linda University Medical Center where Dr. Hillard introduced Mary to Protected PCI.
In 2008, Howard Pikstein made an appointment at Genesis Hospital to address his sleeping problems. After several tests and an angiogram, physicians determined that Howard had heart failure. In fact, the physicians said his heart was so weak that he would likely need a heart transplant. Howard’s sister, director of Cancer Services at William Beaumont Hospital in Detroit, served as his primary advocate and had heard about a randomized clinical trial called PROTECT II, which was enrolling patients undergoing high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures. Howard transferred his records to William Beaumont, enrolled into Protect II, and was randomly selected to receive the Impella 2.5™. His interventional cardiologist, Dr. Simon Dixon, performed a high-risk PCI procedure and was able to place three stents to open Howards 90% blocked left main artery. A few days later, Howard was discharged from the hospital feeling a near immediate improvement. He returned to work at Ford Motors in Detroit shortly thereafter and is still feeling well today.
Rogelio is able to resume his very busy lifestyle due to the benefits of revascularization from Protected PCI with Impella. As an entrepreneur, chairman of several regional organizations in Michigan, and local civic volunteer in Detroit, his schedule leaves little time for rest. So when health issues began getting in the way of his routine, Rogelio decided to go see Dr. Theodore Schreiber at Detroit Medical Center. There, Dr. Schreiber examined Rogelio’s heart and discovered that he needed to act quickly. He then introduced Rogelio to Protected PCI.
Following a game, youth football coach, Ricky Payne, remembers watching the players shake hands. When he collapsed moments later and suffered a heart attack, the entire crowd jumped into action.
After Physicians and a tiny pump helped save her life, Erin Hanussak shares her family’s story to inspire others.
As a middle linebacker for the semi-pro Muskegon Mustangs football team, Stephon Betts knew what it was like to breathe hard and feel pain. At 31 years old, he assumed one day the pain in his chest and shortness of breath was probably due to overheating and dehydration, the rigors of playing a demanding game on a warm day.