Patient Story

John Kopelousos's Journey to Heart Recovery


My name is John Kopelousos and I am from Jacksonville, FL. I am 86 and I’ve been extremely active all my life. I’ve traveled to Italy numerous times, and I’ve always been very social in my community. Although I had open-heart surgery to replace my mitral valve in 2014, I was enjoying retirement and gardening three times per week. When I began experiencing shortness of breath and intermittent chest pain, I paid a visit to my cardiologist. After numerous tests, I was diagnosed with heart failure and multivessel disease.

I was evaluated for coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (CAGB) but due to my age and previous surgery, I was turned down. I was referred to Dr. Samer Garas who identified me as a candidate for a Protected PCI procedure with Impella®. He explained the Impella 2.5® heart pump would support my heart and allow it to rest while he placed stents and performed a complete revascularization of my vessels. After the procedure, I immediately felt stronger and amazingly enough, I was home the following day for lunch!

Today, I’m able to plant flowers and maintain my garden with no pain. I have more energy than I’ve had in years, and I plan to return to Italy with the love of my life, Ann.  I’m also looking forward to spending quality time with my six grandchildren.

Learn more about Impella® heart pumps