LVAD... Left Ventricular Assist Device

THIS BLOG POWERED BY THE THORATEC HEARTMATE II LVAD:















PARTIAL HEART PUMP = LEFT VENTRICULAR ASSIST DEVICE = LVAD = THE HEARTMATE II



THE LVAD ALLOWED ME to go HOME and conquer my normal and newest tasks once again.



Thank you Columbia-Presbyterian... Dr Naka and his Surgery Team, LVAD Nation, Dr Bijou & Dr Bonoan, Dr Mascitelli and Dr Shulman-Marcus!!!



AND TO THE SCORES OF PHYSICIANS, NURSES, PROFESSIONALS AND PEOPLE THAT PUSHED ME ALONG THE WAY... FORWARD.



Thank You God For I Am Blessed!



If I Was An LVAD-NASCAR Race CAR

If I Was An LVAD-NASCAR Race CAR
I would look like this :-)

FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY LVAD DAILY NEWS AND INFO FEED

16 June 2015

Being A Goaltender Represents: Accomplishments And Defeating Obstacles


As posted earlier, I have made the decision earlier this year to suit up and play in goal again.  It's a long, planned road of proper conditioning, extensive reinforcements and modifications of my hockey equipment.

I wouldn't recommend being a goalie to any of my fellow LVADers, but I have been playing in between the pipes my entire life. It was in 2009 with my first LVAD implant that I was told I could NOT play again.  What I would like to project is to any LVADer is keep your focus on your dreams, lost dreams and or trade-offs that life has set forth in your lives.

Keep on keeping on!  Or in my case 😄... "Keep On Goalkeeping On!"

Check out this video: Making Of A Bionic Goalie Part I (not me in the video... Yet... just the leg pad modification that enables me to slide easily without jolting my body) 

Some Thanks to: LVAD,HEARTMATE II,HEARTMATE,THORATEC,Larry W, ROLLERFLY,REY,Maria Mountain,Revolution Sport Conditioning,Hockey Training Pro,@GoalieTraining @RollerFlyGuy #OneDayBetter #LVAD 

And The Good Saga Continues... As the #BionicGoalie 😄👍




28 May 2015

13 Year Old Colby Was JUST Implanted With an LVAD/ Please Check Out His Link

Hello all, Colby is 13 years old, he has just been implanted with an LVAD!!! I was tweeting with his Mom in the early AM this morning.  He has won over my heart... Wowwww.... PLEASE spread the word read more at his link...



AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...



16 May 2015

BUILDING A BIONIC GOALIE Part I: THORATEC LVAD + ROLLERFLY = #BionicGoalie

It's been some time since I last posted; I've been keeping busy, living happy, chasing dreams...

#Thoratec + #ROLLERFLY + #LVAD = #BionicGoalie

Here is Building a Bionic Hockey Goalie: Part 1
(Please read the description I wrote on the YouTube video)

And the good saga continues... :-)

21 November 2014

LUCK COLLIDING WITH FATE = LVAD

So far, 5 extra years of life was were given to me by a bunch of Gods, Magicians and Genies.

In 2009 I had a silent heart attack.  No tell-tale signs, no indicators gave me any warnings that I was having a heart attack. After all, I was 47, in great physical shape but was watching a lifelong low grade hypertension condition and borderline cholesterol levels, but both were being monitored by my primary doctor.

I had no chest pains; no left arm pains or numbness, just a sour and volatile stomach.  The upset stomach that I experienceD was originally thought to be food poisoning as the Chinese food I ate that night tasted a bit funny, to the point that I did not finish my meal.

Almost a week went by and I found myself more and more lethargic, winded with short walks to the car and finally needing to rest after walking very short distances.
When things couldn't get any worse, I found myself resting for 10 minutes just to walk 10-20 feet.

Upon hearing of my condition, a personal friend, who is a doctor, Dr Bonoan, rushed to my home to examine me. My heart rate was astronomical in the 140-150 range. He ordered me to the hospital ASAP, I was possibly experiencing a pulmonary embolism as I just came home from a cross-country drive from NY to California and back. And this was my 4th crooss-country drive in the prior 12 months.

As it turned out, the hospital determined that I had a heart attack, my EF was at a dire 5-8%. Things were bleak.  I was then discharged from the hospital and hospice care was in the realm of discussions made by doctors, myself and my family.  My original cardiologist even told me I could have a few months left, maybe weeks or a year at the most as heart failure and the damage to my heart was too severe to oxygenate my blood to feed my organs.

As luck collided with fate, a new cardiologist came into my life, Dr Bijou. She corrected my medicines that made me feel better but my future was still certainly short UNTIL she mentioned a revolutionary device called The LVAD, Left Ventricular Assist Device. The "LVAD" acronym was immediately embraced by me and my family and pronounced "EL-VAD". The job of the LVAD as a partial heart pump would restore my circulation to near-normal proportions and in turn bring to me a level of stamina that would make me live more comfortably while being able to walk long distances without resting.  I was now offered a possibility to live a bit longer than originally diagnosed and to live long enough to be "bridged" until a heart transplant.

On November 22, 2009, 6 weeks after my widow-maker heart attack, I found myself on the operating table to receive  an open-heart surgery where the LVAD would be WAS implanted into my chest and grafted to my heart. I was in it to defeat the odds, my odds were in my favor as my surgery was performed by a superstar surgeon named Dr Naka... assisted by Dr TakaSo far, 5 extra years of life was were given to me by a bunch of magicians and genies.

In 2009 I had a silent heart attack.  No tell-tale signs, no indicators gave me any warnings that I was having a heart attack. After all, I was 47, in great physical shape but was watching a lifelong low grade hypertension condition and borderline cholesterol levels, but both were being monitored by my primary doctor.

I had no chest pains; no left arm pains or numbness, just a sour and volatile stomach.  The upset stomach that I experienceD was originally thought to be food poisoning as the Chinese food I ate that night tasted a bit funny, to the point that I did not finish my meal.

Almost a week went by and I found myself more and more lethargic, winded with short walks to the car and finally needing to rest after walking very short distances.
When things couldn't get any worse, I found myself resting for 10 minutes just to walk 10-20 feet.

When Upon hearing of my condition, a personal friend, who is a doctor, Dr Bonoan, rushed to my home to examine me. My heart rate was astronomical in the 140-150 range. He ordered me to the hospital ASAP, I was possibly experiencing a pulmonary embolism as I just came home from a cross-country drive from NY to California and back. And this was my 4th crooss-country drive in the prior 12 months.

As it turned out, the hospital found out determined that I had a heart attack, my EF was at a dire 5-8% (WHAT? It was not, I recall they said 16~). Things were bleak.  I was then discharged from the hospital and hospice care was in the realm of discussions made by doctors, myself and my family.  My original cardiologist even told me I could have a few months left, maybe weeks or a year at the most as heart failure and the damage to my heart was too severE to oxygenate my blood to feed my organs.

As luck collided with fate, a new cardiologist came into my life, Dr Bijou. She corrected my medicines that made me feel better but my future was still certainly short UNTIL she mentioned a revolutionary device called The LVAD, Left Ventricular Assist Device. The "LVAD" acronym was immediately embraced by me and my family and pronounced "EL-VAD". The job of the LVAD as a partial heart pump would restore my circulation to near-normal proportions and in turn bring to me a level of stamina that would make me live more comfortably while being able to walk long distances without resting.  I was now offered a possibility to live a bit longer than originally diagnosed and to live long enough to be "bridged" until a heart transplant.

On November 22, 2009, 6 weeks after my widow-maker heart attack, I was on the operating table to receive open-heart surgery where the LVAD would be implanted into my chest and grafted to my heart. I was in it to defeat the odds. My odds were in my favor as my surgery was performed by a superstar surgeon named Dr Naka... assisted by Dr Takayama at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

5 years later, I have no complaints nor concerns.  Adjusting to the new norm was relatively easy for me as I know that in any type of battle, big or small, victory always is the outcome when one realizes that the actual battle is 90% mental approach.


The last 5 years has have been a blessed ride for me.  I have seen the LVAD community grow from small to big. I have seen advances in LVAD technology soar as each year passes and I am witnessing more and more folks receiving LVADs and given their second chances as I did.

In closing, I would ultimately like to thank my donor family. Their Its name is THORATEC... the companly that makes my Heartmate II LVAD. Every Thoratec employee from the very top to the very bottom (and I've literally met 100s) has showed me a passion and pride that wants to provide the end user, the patient, the person receiving the LVAD, A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE.

Dr Bonoan...
Dr Bijou...
Dr Naka...
Dr Takayama...

Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital...
Westchester Med...
North Shore LIJ...

Thoratec...

Thank you From The Bottom Of My LVAD!


And the good saga marches on...

13 September 2014

Well Done THORATEC! Heartmate III GOES INTO TRIAL!

Yes I haven't posted in a very long time.

Yes I have received a lot of emails asking if I am ok?

Yes I have not been on my personal FB acct.

Yes I have driven my FIRST New York to Cali back to NY road trip since doing 4 of them, pre-LVAD back in 2009.

Yes I have driven my SECOND New York to Cali back to NY road trip THIS YEAR!

Yes I have driven my THIRD New York to Cali back to NY road trip THIS YEAR! 

Yes I AM HAPPY THAT THORATEC FORGES ON WITH LVAD DEVELOPMENT, OFFERING FOLKS A SECOND CHANCE to forge on with their lives with reinstated STAMINA.

AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

25 December 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS THORATEC AND FRIENDS ( I MET IN THE 4 YEARS... WITH THIS MEDICAL DEVICE!!!)

MERRY CHRISTMAS THORATEC CORPORATION!!! Thank you for the 4 extra years of flying!!! 😎
MERRY CHRISTMAS THORATEC! Thank you for    Giving me the ability to continue to "fly"!!! CHEERS!!!

08 December 2013

LVAD = OBLIVION!?!?


What's An LVAD!?!?! 


NOVEMBER 23, 2009 I had my 1st LVAD IMPLANT.




NOVEMBER 22, 2011 I had my 2nd LVAD IMPLANT.



NOVEMBER 22-23, 2013 I watched the Movie OBLIVION for the 5th and 6th time!


And The Good Saga Continues...

20 October 2013

WHERE HAS TIME GONE? Over a year since I posted last!

WHERE HAS TIME GONE? Over a year since I posted last! Wowwww. Doesn't seem it! now I know why I have received messages and emails asking " Are you Dead? Is he dead? Are you ok? What happened to you?"    Then I respond back and I get... "But I thought you were dead! Your Not dead! :-) and it goes on and on...

NOPE, im not dead... If I am then this place where I have been for over a year must be heaven.  

I send out BIG HEARTFELT apologies to those who have followed my blog and were left hanging on how I was... I really didnt consider posting what I have been doing because my email is up on the top of this blog header and felt i would keep in touch with those who directly contacted me.

Quite frankly I needed a break... A true "SABbatical" (we will explain in another future post that my SABbatical entailed running away and  joining a flying circus in a community where all are judged by the WHO in them and not the WHAT!)  I spent myself to the point i needed to Enjoy the LVAD  That i was blessed with for myself and only myself... i almost literally (but not really LOL )have lived an LVAD-FREE life.

 As my blog's theme indicates... 
I poured my whole self into helping folks start LVAD support groups, promote Online Support groups... Advocate for and spoke of my firsthand experiences with LVAD LIFE.  I tried to bring humor to the daily forefront in accepting our NEW NORM with the LVAD... the wires and its gadgets. I visited LVAD patients in hospitals in several states... Spoke to potential LVAD recipients... Participated and was invited to many  Annual Meetings, Summits, symposiums, meet-ups... Interviews, many memorial services for those LVADers who fought the good fight til their last breath...  

I have even participated at COLUMBIA PRESBYTERIAN on a year long study on how slowing the RPMs of an LVAD affects The brain. This SCORR study mapped my brain and will or has helped other LVADers and Stroke victims...

We have reached LVADers and the Health sector on a domestic and international level.  I have met many good folks fighting the same good fight as I am. I poured my soul in helping all that came my way and at the same time i was helping myself in an effort to thank those that have given me a quality of life that is miraculous!  Just to mention a few... Dr Yofi Naka and Columbia Presbyterian LVAD team... THORATEC and my family... I can go on and on with thanks but for now I'd rather keep this post as a quick catch up. 

Lastly, because I can go on and on and on :-) I have also Stood up against bullies and Egos that tend to interfere with our special LVAD community that I call HOME...  So as you see, I selfishly deemed myself  accomplished  and took a well deserved long vacation from LVAD Advocacy. 

Finally on another LVADer's Life's progression... former VP Cheney has written a book on his Heart failure experience... I havent read it yet but hope he mentions his HeartMate II ! Here is his interview itinerary that I received through an email: 
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
As you may have heard, former Vice President Dick Cheney has written a new book about his 35-year battle with heart disease. Two chapters of the book are about Mr. Cheney’s experience with HeartMate II, which was implanted in 2010 and supported him until he received a heart transplant in 2012. The book is called “Heart: An American Medical Odyssey<http://www.amazon.com/Heart-American-Medical-Odyssey-ebook/dp/B00BSBR6Y8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382144257&sr=8-1&keywords=cheney+heart>,” and he wrote it with his daughter and his cardiologist.

Mr. Cheney plans to speak on a number of TV shows this week, starting with an interview on 60 Minutes with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. We encourage you to tune in, and to let your friends and families know about the broadcasts.

Some of the shows currently scheduled to feature Mr. Cheney this week are:

60 Minutes. CBS, Sunday, Oct 20 at 7:30 pm ET/PT (following NFL Football) - Preview<http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50157418n>
The Today Show. NBC, Monday, Oct 21. Check your local listings for time - Preview<http://www.today.com/books/dick-cheney-i-said-goodbye-family-heart-surgery-8C11409516>
The Dr. Oz Show. Wednesday, Oct 23. Check your local listings orDoctorOz.com<http://www.doctoroz.com/> for local station and time - Preview<http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/dick-cheney-exclusive>


AND THE GOOD GOOD SAGA CONTINUES ;-)... 

10 June 2012

2 Years And 7 Months... LVAD Life As I Know It

At the risk of sounding redundant, quality of life couldnt be better for me.  I often think of how I felt prior to my LVAD implant in November 2009.  It is like night and day.  From very short distances of walking to almost unlimited amounts of walking. I have gone from a tentative Iron Man to a one that pushes my limits in an effort that safely tests my LVAD limits and my own Native Heart.

In FACT 2 days ago my wife and I walked close to 8 miles throughout Manhattan with approximately 3 1/2 miles of walking on the High Line in the Meat Packing District.  if you dont know what the High Line is, visit here: www.HighLine.Org

The High Line is truly an Oasis located on a former elevated Train line that the Meat Packing District used for deliveries.  It stands to be the most beautiful and innovative Boardwalk that I have ever walked on.  Views of the NYC and NJ skylines as well as interactive displays of nature... nestled between a beautifully landscape walk of Art, flowers, trees, grass, water.  The scent of the flowers almost blanket the entire walk from end to end. there is also a "river inspired" water display that tricks the mind into thinking we are at a river bank :-)

So, without my HeartMate II / LVAD things such as this i couldnt enjoy. I am blessed to be able to reap from the benefits of my HeartMate II

AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...


19 February 2012

EVEN THROUGH STORMY DAYS THE HEARTMATE II LVAD GIVES ME MY SUNSHINE :-)

SOME LEFT VENTRICULAR ASSIST DEVICES (LVAD) LOOK LIKE "DOOR KNOBS" OR OLD AUTOMOTIVE WATER PUMPS... MY HEARTMATE II RESEMBLES A MINATURE VERSION OF  THE PLUMBING UNDER MY BATHROOM SINK.  I AM BLESSED AS I CAN NOT IMAGINE LIFE WITH OUT MY "LVADone"... THE NAME I HAVE GIVEN TO MY LVAD.  WHY LVADone? BECAUSE IF THE PRESIDENT FLIES IN AIRFORCEone OR MARINEone... I HAVE LVADone PROTECTING ME THROUGH MY DAYS... MY LIFE... MY LVADone!!!

AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

14 February 2012

The Most Important LVAD SweetHeart: YOUR OWN HEART! LOVE IT! RESPECT IT! Walk It!


As Valentines Day is here, i would like to emphasize my Love for my Wife and for my Family on Valentines Day 2012.  However MORE importantly is the fact that our BIGGEST SWEETHEART should be our own hearts and those with heart failure... what remains of our functioning heart should be treated well. Loved! Respected! TREATED to healthiest diets possible. And last but not least our Hearts should be walked and if possible... exercised to Healthier and stronger limits.

I have an LVAD which means my Left Ventricle is in dire need of assistance from my Ventricular Device... The LVAD.  I am so blessed to be in the age of the implanted LVAD and to live another day to make a difference.

I OWE IT TO THE  RIGHT SIDE OF MY HEART TO KEEP IT AS HEALTHY AS POSSIBLE as my HeartMate II is taking care of the Left side chores... :-)

Happy Valentines Day to My Wife,Mom,
Daughter,Son-in-law,grandson1,grandson2,Son1,Son2,Sisters and Families, My Extended Family, Friends, My LVAD FAMILY, Dr B and his Family, Columbia New York Presbyterian Hospital Family and to my Thoratec Family.

04 February 2012

LVADone BECOMES "LVAD PRESLEY" FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY LVAD LP HEARTMATE HOTEL/Thanks to Thoratec


I HAD AN EXTRAORDINARY TIME IN LAS VEGAS AS I ALONG WITH THE BIONIC BRIDE AND DENNIS HALL WERE SURPRISE GUEST SPEAKERS AT THE ANNUAL THORATEC meeting. There were approximately 200 Thoratec employees on hand.

The lights were dim, the stage was dark as the three of us walked up to the stage. A video of the three of us were playing on screens behind us. Some of the 200 employees recognized our silhouettes in dark as we walked in. I was obvious with my hat :-) Ally Smith Babineaux AKA The Bionic Bride was recognized with her long hair and dress. We even heard from the audience... "thats The Bionic Bride... That's "From The Bottom Of My LVAD". THEN THE LIGHTS came on.

After the standing ovation and cheers we sat down and began to notice a large number of Thoratec employees crying!  I was amazed from the outpouring of LOVE that came from Thoratec... and we hadn't even began to speak! 

During each of our  on  stage testimonials the audience reacted with applause, laughter and sniffles throughout.  The three of us were stars in the eyes of Thoratec. We all felt that Thoratec holds each LVAD recipient/patient as stars in their own right, but we were blessed to be there to experience first hand  and share it.

Throughout my days in Las Vegas, i was confronted by the Thoratec employees and was told which posts or pictures they loved from my blog.  It was amazing as it seemed they knew my blog better than me :-) It was humbling to know that my Blog work was appreciated and followed

Loads of photos were taken so more posts will follow in the coming days...

AND THE GOOD  SAGA CONTINUES...

10 January 2012

LIKE AN ASTRONAUT:AN LVAD HERO OF MINE

The Torios and I met two years ago Through this Blog when our LVAD journey began.

How do you show people, that you have met through illlness and survival, that you are so thankful for their Love and Friendship? For me i am putting it in a piece of Art...

WE LOVE YOU Cris and Suzanne :-)
Josh and Anne Marie





AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

01 January 2012

RECOGNIZING DR DeBakey AND A HEALTHY NEW YEAR!

Something goofy i wanted to work on and here it is :-) HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL... I AM BLESSED FOR A BETTER LIFE BECAUSE OF MY LVAD. THANK YOU COLUMBIA NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL AND THORATEC...




...THANK YOU FROM MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS


AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

25 December 2011

Gabe J Erhenstein A Quiet And Humble LVAD HERO Until The Very End

After sitting 30 days of Shiva for Gabe, I am still at a loss, so many questions to be answered. Wondering of the mishaps that occured during a night of celebration. No one is to blame, Not Gabe nor his wife Lori. No blame on his friends, Doctors or hospital. Gabe was in a PERFECT CIRCLE of divine love and safety... but still slipped through and into the unknown that eventually took him from this earth. His death wasnt directly LVAD failure... he devoted his life to design a better LVAD for those in the future...

It was just his time, no other way to rationalize it. He accomplished great things before and after his LVAD and will live on as an LVAD Hero.


AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

RUDOLPH THE LVAD REINDEER SPOTTED IN NYC

TO ALL THOSE THAT KEEPS ME SPINNING AND THE GREEN GLOW OF LIFE SHINNING; TO ALL THAT HAVE SUPPORTED, LOVED AND HUGGED ME; TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE INSPIRED AND TAUGHT ME; AND TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE NOT... GOD BLESS YOU...




AND THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU



AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

23 December 2011

Dear Wife,Mom,Family,Friends,Columbia New York Presbyterian and Thoratec... THANK YOU!!!




Thank You for Fighting The Good Fight and saving lives with your gifts, dicipline and passion. I will never run out of ways to thank you. Not a Single Day goes by that I dont wake up and I Thank you!




And The Good Saga Continues...

02 December 2011

AND THE GOOD (LVAD) SAGA CONTINUES IN AARP MAGAZINE By Peter Jaret

X
The Morris' pictured here in front of Yankee Stadium, are enjoying 'extra innings' in life.

Photo by Gina Levay


Below is a Direct link to the article. However here are some excepts from the AARP article by Peter Jaret...


When damage to the heart is irreversible, as in most cases of congestive heart failure, the pump can buy time until a donor organ is available for a heart transplant. Before he suffered a heart attack at age 47, Michael-Joshua Morris, of New York City, was exceptionally active. After his heart attack, he couldn't walk more than 10 steps without gasping for breath and leaning on his wife, Anne Marie. Two years ago he had the device implanted. "What the heart attack took away from me, the LVAD gave back to me," says Morris, who still hopes to undergo a heart transplant.


But most recipients shrug off the inconveniences. "Sure, you've got a wire coming out of your gut, and batteries to worry about, and all that," says Morris. "I'm a Yankees fan, and someone once asked me if I felt as if my life was at the bottom of the ninth inning, two outs, bases loaded. The way I put it, my life is in extra innings. If I'd had my heart attack eight years ago, I wouldn't be alive. What can I be but grateful?"





AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

25 November 2011

HEARTMATES TOO WITH THE HEARTMATE II / "LIVING THE NEW NORM HAPPILY!"

WHO HAS THE LVAD?

Look carefully, the ugly one in the grey hat has the LVAD :-)... Me! My driveline exits my body, yet for a moment, my wife gives me a break wearing my batteries and controller. My whole family plays a roll in living the NEW NORM with me ! My wife and family and my LVAD... Living the new norm happily :-)



AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

23 November 2011

My Second Year Anniversary With The LVAD... Has Me Thinking NASCAR. Unlimited Thanks To ALL My Supporters And Sponsors :-)


For the Past 2 years, countless people, institutions and companies have made me what I am today... A THANKFUL, productive and Loving citizen within society... as time goes on... i will add to this post with stories of the folks who have restored my life for me and my Family!!! THANK YOU Thank you thank you!!!


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!


AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

17 November 2011

ANOTHER NEW NORM! WHAT CAN I SAY? I AM BLESSED BY MY TRUST IN GOD, Columbia NY Presbyterian Hospital And Thoratec.

The Noble person who had my life and heart in his hands.

Dr Naka The Selfless Surgeon

(Great Name For A TV SHOW)





This is My Wife, Me and My Mom just 8 hours after pump swap. I already was off the Vent, sitting up in a chair for 3hours and back in bed.




DISCHARGED 7 days after pump swap and heading home :-)





7 days after my LVAD Pump Swap I headed home Happier than before. Stronger than Ive ever been. I have alot of folks to thank but must start with 3 people. My Wife, Mother and Dr Naka who has had my heart in his hands twice.



2 years ago I had the Heartmate II implant. However I always knew I would be back in the hospital... for a Heart Transplant and or perhaps a pump replacement as i am blood type O negative which is the rarest blood type and longest wait for a heart.



Anyway with this mindset from 2 years back, i was always somewhat prepared to return for surgery. Like a Samarai Warrior, i envisioned myself going through different types of scenerios. Good ones and Bad ones... in an effort to always be prepared.

I like to constantly remind myself of the variables and possiblities surrounding me at any given time. I am not trying to be a hero but more a realist so that if something arises I AM THE STRONGEST I CAN BE... mentally or physically. To Me 90% of any battle is mental.

Today is the first day where i do not feel as exhausted as yesterday. :-) so for me this is DAY 1. I will be posting my experience and findings on my pump failure and swap. How it felt when the pump stopped and my native heart took over.

I will also discuss the folks involved in my surgery and recovery... but for now i leave a photo of me upon discharge... in the back seat of my truck as my wife is driving and my mom riding shotgun. One of me and my Caregivers and Dr Naka the most gifted man that has saved/restored/restarted my life TWICE!!!





AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

10 November 2011

I was Sharon Nesmith's - Phlebotomist Last patient: After 15 years... Time for a Career Change :-)

I was Sharon Nesmith's Last patient: After 15 years... Time for a Career Change :-)
Congratulations Sharon and good luck in your new venture. I know the patients you took care of throughout your first career were blessed to have the least amount of pain :-). And if they were fortunate, they appreciated your humor :-) "you want 1 stick or 3". Too funny :-). God bless you Sharon and I know you will bring the same professionalism to your new career. Big big Hugs From the bottom of my heart and LVAD :-)

Peace

A Group Of Professionals Like Mythological Giants with Viking Proportions Came To Save My Life

A Group Of Professionals Like Mythological Giants With Viking Proportions Came To Save My Life.



The story of my Pump swap soon to be posted. Original Post that I was working on the last 3 days was lost by Blogspot.com I saved it as a draft and when i returned to add photos, it was gone!!!



However I am quite well and been blessed by a great family and friends. I had the surgery and will be going home in a few days...



AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...



05 November 2011

LVAD Leaving The Pioneering Stage. Thank You Thoratec For The "ROADMAP" Study/Taking The Initiative


To me this translates into The LVAD Leaving Its Pioneering Stage and the better understanding of -WHAT Works And What Doesn't Work- Regarding therapies and medicine regiments. Its happening folks, a better quality of life for all LVAD recipients NOW and in the Future through epidemiological studies. Thank You Thoratec.





Purpose
The purpose of this study is to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of the HeartMate II (HM II) Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) support versus OMM in ambulatory NYHA Class IIIB/IV heart failure patients who are not dependent on intravenous inotropic support and who meet the FDA approved indications for HM II LVAD destination therapy.


Condition Intervention
Heart Failure
Device: HM II (HeartMate II LVAD)
Drug: OMM (Optimal Medical Management)



Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Risk Assessment and Comparative Effectiveness of Left Ventricular Assist Device and Medical Management in Ambulatory Heart Failure Patients


Resource links provided by NLM:


MedlinePlus related topics: Heart Failure
U.S. FDA Resources



Further study details as provided by Thoratec Corporation:


Primary Outcome Measures:
•Composite of survival with improvement in Six Minute Hallway Walk Test distance from baseline of ≥ 75m. [ Time Frame: 12 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]


Secondary Outcome Measures:
•Risk stratified subgroup analysis of the primary endpoint and temporal analysis of primary endpoint. [ Time Frame: 6, 12, 18, and 24 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

•Accuracy of prognostic survival risk models including Seattle Heart Failure Model (SHFM) and HeartMate II Risk Score (HMRS) [ Time Frame: Baseline and 6, 12, 18 and 24 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

•Actuarial survival and survival free of stroke: a) intent-to-treat; and b) as treated. [ Time Frame: 24 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]

•Survival in LVAD group free of pump replacement. [ Time Frame: 24 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

•Quality of Life using the EQ-5D-5L Health Utility Index. [ Time Frame: Baseline and 6, 12, 18 and 24 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

•Depression using Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). [ Time Frame: Baseline and 6, 12, 18 and 24 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

•Questionnaire on patient decisions related to LVAD therapy versus optimal medical management. [ Time Frame: Baseline and 6, 12, 18 and 24 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

•Functional status using 6MWT distance and NYHA Classification [ Time Frame: Baseline and 6, 12, 18 and 24 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

•Incidence of adverse events, rehospitalizations, days alive and not hospitalized. [ Time Frame: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 and 24 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]


Estimated Enrollment: 200
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2015
Groups/Cohorts Assigned Interventions
HM II (HeartMate II LVAD)
Subjects who elect to, and receive HM II LVAD therapy at baseline
Intervention: Device: HM II (HeartMate II LVAD) Device: HM II (HeartMate II LVAD)
The HM II pump contains a single moving component, the rotor. The pump is implanted just below the left hemidiaphragm with the inflow attached to the apex of the left ventricle and the outflow graft anastomosed to the ascending aorta. Blood is pumped continuously throughout the cardiac cycle from the left ventricle to the aorta.
Other Name: Left Ventricular Assist Device
OMM (Optimal Medical Management)
Subjects who elect to remain on optimal medical management
Intervention: Drug: OMM (Optimal Medical Management) Drug: OMM (Optimal Medical Management)
Optimal medical management per established heart failure guidelines for this subject population including ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and aldosterone antagonists 45 out of the last 60 days or an inability to tolerate neurohormonal antagonists.
Other Name: Medical Management


Detailed Description:
The HeartMate II (HM II) LVAD is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in destination therapy (DT) patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class IIIB/IV symptoms.

The ROADMAP trial is a prospective, multi-center, non-randomized, controlled, observational study that is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of HM II LVAD support versus optimal medical management (OMM) in ambulatory NYHA Class IIIB/IV heart failure patients who are not dependent on intravenous inotropic support and who meet the FDA approved indications for HM II LVAD destination therapy. Subjects will be enrolled in one of two cohorts: OMM or LVAD. Together with the investigator, the subjects will decide which cohort to enter into at their baseline visit. This study will include experienced HM II LVAD implant centers as well as community centers that care for a large volume of heart failure patients. Study patients will be followed for up to 24 months post enrollment for survival, quality of life and functional status.

Eligibility


Ages Eligible for Study: 18 Years to 85 Years
Genders Eligible for Study: Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers: No
Sampling Method: Non-Probability Sample

Study Population
HM II implanting centers and community/referral heart failure clinics

Criteria
The following are general criteria; more specific criteria are included in the study protocol:

Inclusion Criteria:

•NYHA Class IIIB/IV (refer to Appendix IV for definitions)
•Left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤ 25%
•Not currently listed for heart transplantation, and not planned in next 12 months
•On optimal medical management
•Limited functional status as demonstrated by 6MWT <300 meters •At least: ◦One hospitalization for HF in last 12 months or ◦At least 2 unscheduled emergency room or infusion clinic visits (may include intravenous diuretic therapy, etc.) for HF in last 12 months Exclusion Criteria: •Presence of mechanical aortic or mitral valve, including planned conversion to bioprosthesis •Platelet count < 100,000/mi within 48 prior to enrollment •Any inotrope use within 30 days prior to enrollment •Inability to perform 6MWT for any reason •Any condition, other than heart failure, that could limit survival to less than 2 years •History of cardiac or other organ transplant •Existence of any ongoing mechanical circulatory support (including intraaortic balloon pump, temporary circulatory support devices, etc.) at the time of enrollment •Presence of active, uncontrolled, systemic infection •History of an unresolved stroke within 90 days prior to enrollment, or a history of cerebral vascular disease with significant (> 80%)extracranial stenosis
•Contraindication to anticoagulation/antiplatelet therapy
•CRT or CRT-D within 3 months prior to enrollment
•Coronary revascularization (e.g. CABG, PCI) within 3 months prior to enrollment
Contacts and Locations

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01452802

Responsible Party: Thoratec Corporation ( Thoratec Corporation )
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01452802 History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: TC07272011
Study First Received: October 12, 2011
Last Updated: October 14, 2011
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by Thoratec Corporation:
HeartMate II
heart-assist device
medical management
optimal medical management
Heart Failure NYHA Class IIIB/IV



Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Heart Failure
Heart Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases



ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on November 03, 2011





Direct Link Here:





http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01452802?term=roadmap+thoratec&rank=1







AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

28 October 2011

26 October 2011

2 Years Later: Watching The World Series... Still Swinging The Bat... LVAD Undercover

Beneath the baseball jersey you will still find 2 lithium batteries and and a system controller worn at the waist AND the LVAD implanted inside me.

This photo was shot by my son who was taking pictures of a photo shoot i was participating in for Gina LeVay. http://www.ginalevay.com/

More photos and videos to follow shortly. As for Gina's photos of the day...!? I am looking forward to seeing those :-)



And The Good Saga Continues...

Former Vice President Dick Cheney Shows Off Heartmate II Batteries and Alarms,,,


Shown here is Former VP Cheney at an interview showing his LVAD 14 Hour Batteries. He also removed one of his 2 required batteries... showing that the LVAD system has back-up safety features with audible alarms. This is a great photo!






And The Good Saga Continues...

25 October 2011

LVAD CATCH OF A LIFETIME: THORATEC'S HeartMate II


The best "Catch" of my lifetime is Thoratec's Heartmate II LVAD. Left with no stamina after a massive Heart attack, 2 years ago the "pump" pictured above serves as an artificial Left Ventricle (Assist Device).


AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

09 October 2011

Before The LVAD: 2 YEARS AGO MY HEART ATTACK TOOK MY LIFE AWAY

2 years ago i had a Widow-Maker of a heart attack. I couldnt walk more than 5 feet without gasping for air and resting from being too tired to put one foot in front of another. 2 years later, I have an LVAD and it has absolutely restored my life to near normal. I emphasize near normal as i am restricted from taking "true" Showers and I can not swim. Also I can not participate in contact sports however the trade-off is living a life away from hospice care or worse... being on the otherside of the ground... 6 feet under.


Currently I am on the waitinglist for a heart transplant and on an LVAD therapy called "Bridge To Transplant". If i had to do it all over, i would make the decision to have the LVAD implanted... in a heart beat (or less).


Dr Naka/The Man/The Surgeon responsible for giving me my life back


I look back on my dark days of October 2009 and NEVER thought i would make it this far. It wasnt until late November 2009 when i had the LVAD Implant.

At the time of this post i am fortunate enough to make breakfast in bed for my beautiful Wife and Mother :-) Both dont know, but both will be surprised.


Thank you to the Good folks up Columbia-NYPH, Thoratec, Dr Bonoan, My Family/Friends and last but not least God, my Faith.


And The Good Saga Continues :-)

23 September 2011

To My Donor Family, THORATEC, THANK YOU... For My 2nd Beautiful Life.

Having an “LVAD Implant” myself and with the notion that this may sound strange to most… I feel that THORATEC is concurrently (as close to being) MY Heart Donor and Donor family. And why not?!?





My Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)… the LVAD, the Heartmate II (HMII) by Thoratec… is born out of Love, passion, dedication, RESPECT and Love for life. The HMII is a the Gift given to folks with end stage heart failure. It is a chance to restore life with quality and stamina; to previous levels or even better… it has for me.

On September 5th, 2011 at Yankee Stadium an LVAD, My LVAD was in attendance.


Is this not what being a donor and donor family is all about too? I say all of this with confidence as I have met with many Thoratec Employees at every level. We’ve exchanged emails and phone calls as well as face to face planned and unplanned meetings, a Company tour of Headquarters and “The Plant” where the Heartmate II is assembled and tested. I even tweet with a few...

Me and my wife, friend and my Caregiver.

Like a caring Family, Thoratec ongoing projects are visionary that constantly update the quality of life for their LVADers now and in the future. Every step of the way, every angle, their daily mission is focused on the NOW and the future. This will ensure the possibility for more folks with End Stage Heart Failure their own re-Birthday, a second chance… Life restored with quality. My LVAD HeartMate II Birthday cake


The Heartmate II constantly gives back to me what my heart attack took away from me. Thank you Thoratec, my donor Family, for my 2nd Beautiful Life. Thank you to all responsible for developing the LVAD throughout history.
(Thoratec, along with every other Medical Device company… is in the business to make money and profit. I do not own $tock in Thoratec nor have any other stock market investments. However, I do want Thoratec and other proven Health Industry manufacturers to be successful and make a profit! Why wouldn’t I? I want them to save even more lives; giving more people that second chance. Sparing families of the immediate loss of a loved one.)



AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES...

16 September 2011

A Hero for all times... Passenger and Citizen Soldier on Flight 93/Tom Burnett Jr

Deena Burnett raising the flag for her Husband Tom Burnett Jr.

A Hero for all times... One heard of the many heroes from that horrible day September 11th 2001... Tom Burnett Jr, Employed by Thoratec and a Passenger and Citizen Soldier on Flight 93 reminds me of what life should be all about... to be a productive citizen in society in any shape or form.

In the days after 9-11-11 "Ten Years After" MY OWN EFFORT to never forget 9-11 lures me to Tom Burnett Lane And Thomas E. Burnett Jr. Memorial Bridge and other memorials... Why? May you ask? Because of all the Heroes on that day, he intrigues me as he was employed by a medical device company that 8 years after Tom's heroic deeds, saved and or restored my life.

For those not familiar with Tom Burnett Jr and his link to HIS Flight 93, here is an excerpt from UNITEDHEROES.COM:

-Mr. Burnett phoned his wife Deena four times. In the first call he told her about the situation on the plane and asked her to call authorities. The second time he phoned, he told her that he believed their captors were going to fly the plane into the ground. "The next time he called," Mrs. Burnett said, "I could tell they were formulating a plan." In the last call, he reportedly said, "I know we're going to die. There's three of us who are going to do something about it."-

Since this tragedy, tributes and memorials have been constructed remembering this day and its heroes... here are some for Mr Tom Burnett Jr:

http://www.tomburnettfoundation.org/tomburnett_AboutTom.html

The California State Assembly renamed the Fostoria Way overcrossing over Interstate 680 in San Ramon the Thomas E. Burnett Jr. Memorial Bridge in his honor.

Another is a Street renamed to Tom Burnett Lane... below is a photo of Tom Burnett Lane wth flags and memorials left by people who respect and love Tom:

Thank you Tom and to ALL our innocent Heroes murdered on this day of September 11th, 2001
You will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN

And The Good Saga Continues...

14 September 2011

Double LVAD Serves As A Fully Implantable Artificial Heart. Dr. Frazier And Team Of...

Although I have posted this before on my Blog, it is certainly worthy of a double post on my blog :-) as a Double-LVAD was designed to prolong life.



Two LVAD pumps were implanted and used to sustain a life in the pioneering land of Texas. Thanks again to JBPejo for breaking this news to the LVAD community.



And The Good Saga Continues...

12 September 2011

10 years Later:An Outstanding Day and Night Of Harmony,September 11, 2011


THIS POST IS A WORK IN PROGRESS as we had taken many Photos of this day. 1st and foremost I will start with one of the most important to me.

On this day of September 11,2011 one would expect alot of tension and stress. However it was a beautifully peaceful day due to the folks in uniform. NYPD,FDNY/EMT and the PAPD.

P.O. Lessey A NYPD Officer briefly took the time to chat and take a Photo... his partner was camera shy :-). Although there was a moment of playfulness shared between us, we all felt Safe and secure under P.O. Lessey's and the rest of NYPD's watch. We are indebted to him and the rest of the force for their sacrifices diligence and bravery. Thank You!



The Freedom Tower



And The Good Saga Continues...

11 September 2011

WE ALL STOOD STRONG, Cried On Eachother's Left shoulder For Love And Support, Stood On Eachother's Right Shoulders To Rescue And Rebuild





What is the link between my LVAD and September 11th 2001? To sum it up... I AM ALIVE! Ive outlived the VILE ORGANISM THEY CALLED "OSAMA BIN LADEN", a BLOODSUCKING PARASITE" who convinced a legion to hurt and or murder our people our children!

However Thank you God and thank you to MY LVAD. I am ALIVE to do the best I can to protect and guide my family. I AM a Proud American, Born and raised in NYC.

10 years ago today was chaotic BUT WE ALL STOOD STRONG, Cried on each other's Left shoulder for Love and support, Stood on each others right shoulders to Rescue and rebuild again. At my age i still dont know why there is still hatred in the world But I do know I and am blessed by God's grace to be alive and kickin and to read from our younger generation of Love and Strength of our Country's Future! As usual it is Bright and happy like a brilliant smile on a child's face... this Brilliant smile is just a glimpse from my youngest niece who was 2 years old at the time terror hit our lives September 11th 2001. She writes today:

Two towers stood tall
and then began to fall
People started to stare
at nothing that wasn't there
People were crying
... while people were dying
Over 1000 people died
that shoudnt have lost there lives
♥ R.I.P. ♥ you'll never be forgotten


My response to my beautiful niece and her generation...
I Love you Brianna (Daelyn and Dylan), although you were 2 years old when this sadness happened to our Country and to our neighbors... It does my heart good to see the youngest generation of that time honor and remember the friends and families lost on this tragic day. It is important to these innocent heroes who perished that we as a People and Country as well as the World to fight the good fight to ward off evil and misrepresentations of our beliefs and ways. Freedom is God's way to show us to Love life... not for ignorant people to take away. I Love you and your sister from the bottom of my heart and your smiles gives me the energy to stand up against all negativity... ♥ ♥ ♥ xoxoxo

WE WILL NEVER ✈ ▌▌NeverForget ✈ ▌▌ WE ARE FOREVER GRATEFUL!!!

AND THE GOOD SAGA CONTINUES....

✈ ▌▌NeverForget ✈ ▌▌

✈ ▌▌NeverForget ✈ ▌▌

We Will ✈ ▌▌NeverForget ✈ ▌▌

WE WILL ✈ ▌▌NeverForget ✈ ▌▌ EVER!!!

AND TODAY THE GOOD SAGA... IS SUSPENDED!

10 August 2011

We Could Not Be, Without The Likes Of Our Brave LVAD Heroes...

1984-2011

Yesterday morning I received word that Brandon’s long hard journey has come to an end. He is at rest… at peace now after a hard fought struggle. To me his brave fight against steep health complications brought the LVAD community even closer. His wife, Kari kept us all informed with Brandon’s good fight. Her unconditional love and support of her husband and children spread across the (Facebook-)LVAD community on a daily basis. God Bless Brandon’s family, my good thoughts and prayers for his family are constantly raised throughout day.

The LVAD community’s own HEART deeply feels his loss.

07 August 2011

Flight 93 9/11/01 HERO Mr. Burnett/Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Thoratec Corp

With our own drama in our lives we tend to forget HEROES that step up and save lives. Tom Burnett did this on his job at THORATEC and on flight 93 on September 11th, 2001... Thanks Kristin Millar for reminding us about Tom...








Thomas Burnett, Jr.
38 years old
San Ramon, CA

Mr. Burnett was the senior vice president and chief operating officer of Thoratec Corp., a maker of Heart medical devices, including the #LVAD... based in Pleasanton, California.

On September 11, 2001, while on board Flight 93, he was able to call his wife four times on an airphone after the hijackers took control of the plane. Mr. Burnett phoned his wife Deena four times. In the first call he told her about the situation on the plane and asked her to call authorities. The second time he phoned, he told her that he believed their captors were going to fly the plane into the ground. "The next time he called," Mrs. Burnett said, "I could tell they were formulating a plan." In the last call, he reportedly said, "I know we're going to die. There's three of us who are going to do something about it."

Burnett and other passengers had been in communication with people via airphones and learned that the World Trade Center had been hit using hijacked airplanes. Burnett was among the passengers who decided to fight the hijackers hand-to-hand.

Burnett called his wife, Deena, and reportedly told her, "We're all going to die, but three of us are going to do something." He is survived by his wife and three young daughters: Halley, Madison, and Anna Clare. He is also survived by a biological daughter, Mariah, that he and his college girlfriend gave up for adoption in 1985. (Mariah Mills now has a relationship with Deena and her three half-sisters.)

Deena Burnett co-authored a book with Anthony Giombetti entitled Fighting Back: Living Life Beyond Ourselves. The book is published by Advantage Inspirational and was released in July 2006. Fighting Back recounts the difficulties in getting the FBI to release cockpit voice recorder tapes from United 93 to the public, and includes Deena Burnett's thoughts on the nature of heroism.

Burnett was posthumously awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2002. Also in that same year, a street in Pleasanton, California, where he worked for Thoratec Corporation, was renamed Tom Burnett Lane, commemorating his heroic efforts on Flight 93 that fateful day of September 11, along with his fellow passengers. There is also a memorial called Hero's Garden at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management in Tom's honor.

The California State Assembly renamed the Fostoria Way overcrossing over Interstate 680 in San Ramon the Thomas E. Burnett Jr. Memorial Bridge in his honor

At his memorial service Mr. Burnett's older sister, Martha Burnett O'Brien, said she's struggling with her brother's death, partly because she didn't see him the last time he visited the family in Minnesota. It was a week and a half before his death. "I didn't know it was going to be my last chance. I regret not making time, not catching him before he flew out. I figured that I had a lifetime of opportunities to do that. And in the course of this loss, our country has gained a hero," she said.

His sister also added that her brother would be happiest if everyone in the audience at least did a little something to improve the country...

Thomas Burnett was the father of three girls, five-year-old twins, Madison and Halley, and four-year-old Anna-Claire.

Mr. Burnett's employer, THORATEC has set up a memorial fund. All the money collected will go directly into a fund for Deena Burnett. She plans to use the money largely for the children's education.

Send donations to:

The Thomas E. Burnett Jr. Family Memorial Fund
c/o CIBC Oppenheimer Corp.
Account #074-17387-10
580 California Street, Suite 2300
San Francisco, CA 94104
phone: (415) 438-3000




If you wish to send a letter to the family, send it to Deena Burnett, c/o Thoratec Corp. att: Beth Taylor, 6035 Stone Ridge Drive, Pleasanton, CA 94588.


And The GOOD SAGA continues... Thank You Tom! Thank You!

*Thanks again to Kristin Millar for reminding us of this Great American Hero