Heart Recovery Patients, Physicians and Hospital Staff Reunite at a Heart Recovery Reunion


Hosted by Abiomed and Detroit Medical Center

“These patients have stared death in face and won; they are my heroes.”

– Theodore Schreiber, MD, president of DMC Heart Hospital.

patient group and physicians

DMC Physicians with Impella® Heart Pump Patients

More than 50 heart failure and heart attack patients and their families gathered at Detroit Medical Center (DMC) in August to reunite with the cardiovascular clinical teams who helped save and enhance their lives with innovative procedures and technology. This event – the largest Heart Recovery Reunion of its kind in the country – provided a unique opportunity for patients, families and care teams from different walks of life to celebrate their heart recovery successes together and support each other in their journeys. Read more

Patient Story: James “Craig” Carroll and the Impella® Heart Pump

CraigJames “Craig” Carroll, a Site Manager for Gray Construction, has been a heart patient since early adulthood. He received his first stent at the young age of 27 years.

For the past four years, Craig has been in and out of the hospital for heart procedures and has received a total of 11 stents. Last year, Craig was told he was not a candidate for open heart surgery due to his diabetes and narrowed blood vessels. Craig’s physicians told him his heart condition was severe and he was a high risk for complex coronary artery bypass surgery. The surgeons were afraid he would not survive open heart surgery.

A few months after receiving this news, Craig was on a business trip to Houston when he began experiencing  chest pain.  Craig immediately went to the emergency room at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center in Webster, Texas.   Dr. Rakesh Shah, an interventional cardiologist, discovered a severe blockage in Craig’s main coronary artery.  Dr. Shah performed a Protected percutaneous coronary artery (PCI) by inserting the Impella 2.5 heart pump to temporarily support Craig’s heart while placinga stent to open Craig’s blocked coronary artery.

Craig recovered well from the Protected PCI procedure and returned to Clear Lake Regional Medical Center about a month later for a follow-up procedure. Since then, Craig has regained his strength and has returned to his normal daily routine.

Recently, the hospital held a celebration for Craig, gathering Craig and his family, as well as the interventional cardiologists, staff, and local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals —all of which worked together to help Craig. The Celebration of Life event was Clear Lake Regional Medical Center’s kickoff for American Heart Month–a national effort to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke. He wanted to thank everyone for saving his life.

Listen to Craig’s story below:

Next Steps:

  1. See how the Impella 2.5 heart pump works
  2. Read more about Clear Lake Regional Medical Center’s Celebration of Life event
  3. Learn more about Protected PCI
  4. Learn more about complex heart disease
  5. Read about PCI and Protected PCI procedures

Protected PCI™ – Indication & Safety Info.


The Impella 2.5™ System is a temporary (≤ 6 hours) ventricular support device indicated for use during high risk percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) performed in elective or urgent, hemodynamically stable patients with severe coronary artery disease and depressed left ventricular ejection fraction, when a heart team, including a cardiac surgeon, has determined high risk PCI is the appropriate therapeutic option.  Use of the Impella 2.5 System in these patients may prevent hemodynamic instability, which can result from repeat episodes of reversible myocardial ischemia that occur during planned temporary coronary occlusions and may reduce peri- and post-procedural adverse events.


In connection with the above indication, the Impella 2.5™ is contraindicated for use with patients experiencing any of the following conditions:

  • Mural thrombus in the left ventricle
  • Presence of a mechanical aortic valve or heart constrictive device
  • Aortic valve stenosis/calcification (equivalent to an orifice area of 0.6 cm2 or less)
  • Moderate to severe aortic insufficiency (echocardiographic assessment graded as ≥ +2)
  • Severe peripheral arterial disease precluding placement of the Impella 2.5™ System


Additionally, potential for the following risks has been found to exist with use of the Impella 2.5 in the above indication:  Acute renal dysfunction; Aortic insufficiency; Aortic valve injury; Atrial fibrillation; Bleeding; Cardiogenic shock; Cardiac tamponade; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Cerebral vascular accident/Stroke; Death; Device malfunction; Failure to achieve angiographic success; Hemolysis; Hepatic failure; Insertion site infection; Limb ischemia; Myocardial infarction; Need for cardiac, thoracic or abdominal operation; Perforation; Renal failure; Repeat revascularization; Respiratory dysfunction; Sepsis; Severe hypotension; Thrombocytopenia; Thrombotic vascular (non-CNS) complication; Transient ischemic attack; Vascular injury; Ventricular arrhythmia, fibrillation or tachycardia.



Patient Story: Vickie N. and the Impella® Heart Pump

vickienA recent Dr. Oz The Good Life blog article tells the story of Vickie N. who thought she was healthy. Her diabetes was under control and she had lost 160 pounds. Her not so secret ‘secret’ was to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

So Vickie thought nothing of the sore on her foot that developed after she stepped on a stone. But the sore would not heal or go away and her leg swelled. Vickie visited her doctor, who referred her to a podiatrist. The podiatrist saw a very infected leg and told Vicki she had to have surgery immediately or her leg may need to be amputated. Vickie chose surgery.

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Celebration of Life Events

“Celebration of Life” events are taking place at many hospitals across the country. Last week, celebrations were held at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, New York; Eastland Memorial Hospital, Eastland, Texas; and, Weatherford Regional Medical Center, Weatherford, Texas. These events enable clinicians and staff to reconnect personally with patients.

celebrationoflife1At the Orange Regional Medical Center, Jonathan Schiller, Chief Operating Officer, introduced the event and Dr. Apurva Motivala reviewed the cardiology program and the passion that drives their staff to create wonderful recovery stories.

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Protected PCI Patient Story: Dan Eulate

Before his Protected PCI procedure, Dan Eulate could not walk to the mailbox or do daily household chores without breathing hard and feeling very out of breath. Dan knew something was wrong and was not surprised when his doctor, Dr. Alphonse Ambrosia of Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa Arizona, told him he needed another heart procedure. Dan, who is 47 years old, has lived with diabetes and heart complications for years and knew his heart symptoms well.

Listen to Dan’s story:

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Perspective from a Protected PCI Patient: Justin Redman

Prior to my cath procedure I was in a lot of pain due to the blockage in my heart. After having 20+ heart caths I knew that this one would be high risk. My previous cardiologists had warned that they weren’t interested in taking that sort of risk and recommended I just live with it, but I knew I couldn’t fully function unless the blockage was opened up. Dr Farhan Ali of Heart Center of North Texas had spoken of a new device, the Impella 2.5, that could help with the procedure and told me that he would give it a try.  After my Protected PCI procedure, I felt a significant amount of relief.

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