Interview, September 14, 2014
About four years ago I remember walking uphill from the parking lot to the car dealership where I worked, and being so exhausted that I had to sit at my desk and rest. I also was losing weight and feeling overall poorly.
I had 5-vessel bypass surgery in 1996, and I really never got back to the way I felt before. In 2004, my cardiologist placed a pacemaker. Sometime after that I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, but had had no real complications. When these episodes continued, the company and I agreed that I should retire.
One day at home I started feeling as if I had been run over by a bus. I went to the ER, was treated and sent home. I didn’t improve, so I ended up back at the hospital where I stayed for several days and then again went home.
By the third day at home I was completely exhausted and couldn’t think straight. I was so bad I couldn’t even remember my daughter’s name.
This time I was sent to a urologist. The good news was that my kidneys were working, but he said my heart’s ejection fraction (EF) was so low it probably wouldn’t work much longer.
When my cardiologist learned what the urologist had told me he immediately called Dr. Hussam Farhoud because, he said, “no one has a tattoo saying your expiration date.”
Dr. Farhoud, along with my family, decided to send me to Oklahoma City.
I was transported by a critical care ambulance and coded twice on the way. At the hospital they agreed I wasn’t strong enough for surgery. I stayed in Oklahoma City where they gave me medication for several months until I was finally strong enough to walk into the hospital.
to Oklahoma City. I cannot thank him enough for encouraging me and my family and helping us decide what to do. I also give great thanks to my wife for supporting me and helping me get through this difficult time.
Today I can do pretty much whatever I want, except swim or play football. I can even go hunting with my son and grandson! I volunteer at the Open Door food pantry and serve at the homeless shelter. I also help at an extended living home.
When people ask me about the LVAD system, they are awestruck by this medical advancement. It will be four years in January. I am thrilled to be alive and to have witnessed the birth of several grandkids with more on the way. Only by the blessings of prayers and the grace of God did this become possible.