Physicians and Technology Work Together to Save William's Life
In March 2016, William Takes Horse, 63, was having what he thought was bad heartburn. He took an antacid but it didn’t help. He also experienced pain in his left shoulder and arm, and took baby aspirin and went to bed. In the morning, his wife checked his blood pressure and took him toTexoma Medical Center’s ER.
“When they learned I was having chest pain, they started doing tests immediately. I knew something was wrong when they rushed me into surgery,” says William.
Cardiologist Srinvasa Reddy, MD, FACC, says William suffered a massive heart attack and was in cardiogenic shock. That occurs when blood pressure drops and the heart does not pump. “Time was of the essence, so we took William to the heart catheterization lab and inserted the Impella® heart pump,” says Dr. Reddy.
New to TMC, the pump is a percutaneous ventricular assist device (VAD) that is surgically placed into the left heart ventricle through the femoral artery in the leg. It helps the heart pump more blood. This allows doctors to perform lifesaving interventions such as angioplasty or placing stents.
Dr. Reddy says William’s heart function was only 10 percent and there was a complete blockage in the top of his heart. “Once the heart was pumping stronger, we were able to clear the blockage and insert a stent. He's very lucky, because 90 percent of patients we see in cardiogenic shock don’t make it,” he says. “By using the Impella® heart pump, we can help save more lives.”
William, a Crow Indian, says he feels great and is thrilled about the care he received at TMC. “When I finally saw Dr. Reddy after the procedure, he was amazed that I survived my heart attack. Even my nurse at cardiac rehab could not believe it,” he says. “I am so grateful to Dr. Reddy, his team and all of the nurses. They went above and beyond in taking care of me and giving me a second chance to do what I love – visiting schools in the community and educating them about Native Americans and their way of life.”