Category: Heart & Vascular

New lungs, new life

New lungs, new life

In November 2015, Steve Nix, then 46, started feeling tired all the time and had difficulty catching his breath, but he considered these things minor problems and didn’t think much about them. Then his symptoms got much worse and couldn’t be ignored.
Nix says he reached a point when he couldn’t complete even the easiest

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The gift of life—times three

The gift of life—times three

Last year, Michele Melvin gave birth to healthy twins. A remarkable feat, certainly—as all births are. But for Melvin, the twins represent something bigger, something she thought she would never experience. At an early age, Melvin was told she would not be able to have children.
When she was born, Melvin was diagnosed with complex

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Heart Transplant Gives Marine a New Mission

Heart Transplant Gives Marine a New Mission

James Williams is the kind of guy who has worked at keeping himself in shape. In his line of work, it’s a smart thing to do. A former high-school athlete, Williams served in the Marine Corps Reserve, including a stint in Desert Storm, and spent 23 years in law enforcement.
But in 2007, at age

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Minimally Invasive TAVR Procedure Helped Ruby Feel Like Herself Again

Minimally Invasive TAVR Procedure Helped Ruby Feel Like Herself Again

Ruby Morgan-Dermody, a feisty 89-year-old who exercises daily, thought she was pretty healthy. At a visit to her primary-care physician, Ruby told the doctor she “felt a bit tired, but I’m an old lady!” While listening to Ruby’s heart, her physician told her things weren’t working the way they should. “Sure they are,” she remembers

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Over 500 TAVR Procedures, One Man’s Story

Over 500 TAVR Procedures, One Man’s Story

In the last six years, James Homire’s heart has caused a lot of health problems.
Beginning in 2010, Homire, 86 and a retired attorney from Eureka, Missouri, has been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation and aortic valve stenosis; he also has an abdominal aortic aneurysm. All of these conditions can be life threatening,

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ECMO to LVAD to Heart Transplant: John Hamblin’s Race to Recovery

ECMO to LVAD to Heart Transplant: John Hamblin’s Race to Recovery

John Hamblin began running in half marathons—the majority of them in the St. Louis area—when he was in his mid-40s. Then he discovered 50-in-50 clubs, members of which set the goal of running half or full marathons in all 50 states. Hamblin was inspired, and between 2009 and 2015, he ran half marathons in 15

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Blood Clot Threatened First Responder’s Health

Blood Clot Threatened First Responder’s Health

Grant Capel has spent most of his life in excellent health. But in late 2011, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer.
“I had never taken a sick day in my life until I was diagnosed with cancer,” says Capel, who works as a paramedic and firefighter in rural Union County, Illinois. “I wasn’t used to

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Two Minimally Invasive Procedures Repair Woman’s Heart

Two Minimally Invasive Procedures Repair Woman’s Heart

When Deborah Hart’s doctor told her she needed heart surgery, she initially found it difficult to believe. Hart, 58, is an active and otherwise healthy person, who had never been diagnosed with a serious illness. “I don’t drink alcohol or smoke. I eat healthy foods. I’ve always exercised regularly. Heart disease was the furthest thing

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TAVR procedure saves mail carrier’s life

TAVR procedure saves mail carrier’s life

Dyke Foster, 55, a longtime mail carrier from Assumption, Illinois, has had a problematic heart his entire life. Afflicted with a congenital heart condition, he had his first surgery at age six. In 2000, at age 41, a failing heart valve was replaced with a harvested human one. By 2014, this replacement valve was failing,

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Heart transplant success: collaboration saves a life

Heart transplant success: collaboration saves a life

If you ask anyone who was part of Rick Bales’ care team, they’ll all agree his story is rather remarkable. In January, Bales underwent a heart transplant procedure. The surgery only lasted a few hours, but his journey to a new heart began more than two years ago, after he survived a massive heart attack.

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