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.

These patients were all treated with Impella®, the world’s smallest heart pump. The Impella platform is the only minimally-invasive hemodynamic support device approved by the Food and Drug Administration as safe and effective to enable heart recovery. Heart recovery is the ideal option for a patient’s quality of life and has the ability to save costs for the healthcare system1,2,3.

Rick Welch Heart Disease patient “In the past, patients like me had few options,” said Richard (Rick) Welch, a DMC patient who suffered from heart health problems for decades before being treated with the Impella heart pump in 2013.

“I felt so fatigued that I couldn’t walk short distances, even after taking medications and improving my diet and exercise. I was facing the prospect of extensive open heart surgery, but then I learned I was a candidate for Protected PCI, which could re-open my blocked arteries without surgery. After treatment, I’m able to continue to run my business in Detroit, travel and enjoy time with my wife and grandchildren.”

Rick attended the event with his wife and one of his grandchildren.

“Meeting other people whose lives have also been enhanced or saved by the Impella heart pump and the amazing doctors and staff at DMC was very meaningful to me and my family,” recalls Rick.

DMC’s program identifies high-risk patients with advanced heart failure, like Rick, who may otherwise have limited or no treatment options, and provides them with the option for a minimally-invasive procedure known as Protected PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention). Protected PCI uses the Impella heart pump to temporarily stabilize the heart function while physicians open blocked arteries in the heart. The Impella platform allows patients’ hearts to rest and recover by temporarily assisting the pumping function of the heart, to efficiently move blood through the body. Clinicians at DMC also use the Impella heart pump to treat heart attack patients suffering from cardiogenic shock, an often fatal condition in which the heart cannot effectively pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

In addition to patients and their families, DMC interventional cardiologists, nurses and staff were in attendance at the event. To demonstrate the importance of DMC’s work to improve the community’s health, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan opened the program by thanking DMC for bringing innovative technology and treatment options, like the Impella heart pump, to Detroit. Mike Minogue, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Abiomed, also attended to congratulate DMC for putting patients first and carrying forward Abiomed’s mission of heart recovery.

Mayor Mike Duggan

Dr. Ted Schreiber and Mayor Mike Duggan celebrate Heart Recovery with a patient

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, affecting people of all ages, races, genders and ethnicities. With the Impella heart pump, Abiomed continues to work with care teams to allow more patients to return home with their own hearts. More than 50,000 patients in the U.S. have benefited from Impella support.

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  1. Maini B, Gregory D, Scotti DJ, Buyantseva L. Percutaneous cardiac assist devices compared with surgical hemodynamic support alternatives: Cost-Effectiveness in the Emergent Setting. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2014 May 1;83(6):E183-92.
  2. Cheung A, Danter M, Gregory D. TCT-385 Comparative Economic Outcomes in Cardiogenic Shock Patients Managed with the Minimally Invasive Impella or Extracorporeal Life Support. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012;60(17_S):. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2012.08.413.
  3. Gregory D, Scotti DJ, de Lissovoy G, Palacios I, Dixon, Maini B, O’Neill W. A value-based analysis of hemodynamic support strategies for high-risk heart failure patients undergoing a percutaneous coronary intervention. Am Health Drug Benefits. 2013 Mar;6(2):88-99.


To learn more about the Impella® platform of heart pumps, including important risk and safety information associated with the use of the devices, please visit: http://www.abiomed.com/important-safety-information