Avid Traveler and Family Man Enjoying Life After Suffering a Near-Fatal Heart Attack


Keith was at a friend’s birthday celebration when he suddenly collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.

Keith Brown always led an active lifestyle even though he had previously suffered a heart attack. On October 18, 2019, at the age of 64, he suddenly collapsed and went into cardiac arrest at a friend’s birthday party. Friends called 911 and started performing CPR before EMTs transported him to Northeast Baptist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas where Dr. Navin Nikam performed an angioplasty and placed stents. Keith’s blood pressure remained dangerously low and Dr. Nikam called the Methodist heart failure team for assistance.

Dr. Michael Kwan, an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist at Methodist Hospital, went to Northeast Baptist Hospital and placed him on venous arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA ECMO) while he was still in the catheterization lab. The heart team then transported Keith to Methodist Hospital for escalated care.

After arriving, Keith’s health continued to decline. Dr. Kwan and Dr. Masahiro Ono removed ECMO and surgically implanted Impella 5.5® with SmartAssist® to provide maximum support and optimize the opportunity for Keith’s heart to recover.

Keith’s condition began to improve and he was able to walk around while on Impella® support. The SmartAssist technology helped the physicians with patient management and assisted in weaning Keith off Impella after four days. Keith was able to fully recover and was discharged home with his native heart. Today, Keith cares for his elderly father, enjoys time with his two children and looks forward to traveling more with his wife.

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