Ventricular Assist Device Gives New Hope To Patients With Heart Failure
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- February is American Heart Month. If you're a patient waiting for a new heart, you're in a race against the clock. Finding an organ match before time runs out is a deadly waiting game. But improvements in technology are making more patients now able to live longer, better lives - even without a new heart.
"It feels like you're just wasting away, wasting away that's how I felt," 36-year-old Karon Johnson, who suffers from an enlarged heart, says. As a patient with congestive heart failure, Johnson was at the mercy of an organ donor for a new heart, until receiving a heart pump.
"It gives you your energy back," Johnson says, "and it gives you a sense of hope as well, that I got a little bit longer here."
A Ventricular Assist Device, known as VAD, can help support your heart's ventricles that may be weakened from heart disease. The pump is implanted inside the patient, and connected to external batteries.
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