ECU & Vidant Give Congestive Heart Failure Patients New Hope
Walton jones likes to spend time in his small business in Kinston, North Carolina, surrounded by his family – especially his four grandkids. He’s like my second dad. Walton used to work a lot more but he has congestive heart failure. His doctors gave him about a 30-percent chance to live another year. When they started telling me a time limit, you start thinking different. It’s kind of scary knowing the shape he was in. You’re hoping that something’s going to happen so that doesn’t happen. That something did come along.
ECU Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Medical Center doctors had an alternative – a left ventricular assist device – or L-VAD for short. According to his advanced heart failure cardiologist, Dr. Hassan Alhosaini, the L-VAD is a partial heart pump that will either help patients waiting for a heart transplant or those who don’t qualify for a heart transplant – like Walton. Historically we have had to send our patients away from their communities to neighboring institutions to receive these advanced therapies. But now we can offer these world class innovations here, close to home in eastern North Carolina.
In May, Walton is the first person to receive this L-VAD at Vidant Medical Center. The biggest thing I done this for was my grandkids. I knew I wanted more time. Walton isn’t alone in his battle. According to the CDC, nearly 6-million adults in the United States have heart failure and about half of them die within 5-years of diagnosis.
The L-VAD device gives hope. I feel much better. I feel good, my memory is coming back – my strength is coming back. I think it is one of the best feelings when you pull somebody, who has been told that this is the end, the end of the journey for him and then suddenly you start talking about more years, more good quality years. He’s a granddaddy, a daddy, a husband; you want him to stay here as long as you can.
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