Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. and doctors say millions of heart patients have reached the point where they can no longer walk to their mailbox without being in pain. But a new procedure is giving some of these patients hope.
Justin Redman, 68, of Godley, recently underwent the procedure after years of suffering from heart disease.
He suffered a heart attack at the age of 41, and since then has undergone several stent procedures and two open-heart surgeries.
The problems persisted and diminished his quality of life, said Redman.
"I was at the point to where I couldn't even lay down without having chest pain because I was so out of breath," he said.
He said doctors told him another cath lab procedure was too risky and there was nothing they could do.
"There's not a worse feeling in the world, I promise you that," said Redman.
He transferred his records to the Heart Center of North Texas, where Dr. Farhan Ali conducts a new treatment approved by the FDA this past spring.
The procedure uses the world's smallest artificial pump called an impella pump.
The pump unloads blood from the left ventricle and expels it into the ascending aorta, the same effect that happens with the pumping motion of a heart.
The pump supports the patient while doctors perform necessary repairs to the heart.
In Redman's case, the pump kept him alive while Ali and his team opened the single vein graft supplying Redman's entire heart muscle.
"Many patients, like Justin Redman, have had the benefit of this procedure where they've been told you can't have open heart surgery, your heart is too weak, the risk of stent intervention is too high," said Ali.
Justin said relief was immediate, and soon afterward he was living a quality of life he didn't think was possible.
"I understand that I have progressive heart disease, and I'm gonna have to deal with it however long I got left. God knows that, not me, but for now, I got my quality of life back that I didn't have," said Redman.