Shirley Polk, 44, is a mother, wife and avid cyclist. A few years ago, after a scheduled C-section at a local hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina for her second child, Shirley suddenly had trouble breathing. She was immediately intubated and rushed to the critical care unit where she was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) and cardiogenic shock.
Dr. Islam Othman, interventional cardiologist at Duke Health, evaluated Shirley at the local hospital and placed the Impella CP® heart pump to allow her heart to rest and recover. After one day on Impella® support, Shirley was transferred to Duke University Hospital North in Durham, North Carolina, for a possible heart transplant.
At Duke, the medical team had planned to remove the Impella and list Shirley for a heart transplant. However, upon removing the Impella they noticed her native heart had recovered and was able to provide adequate circulatory support eliminating the need for a heart transplant. After ten days, Shirley was discharged home with normal heart function and an ejection fraction of 65%.
Today, Shirley is back to cycling and her busy routine as a mom.