In May 2010, Kenmore resident Donald Morrison made a trip to Kenmore Mercy Hospital’s Emergency Department concerned that he had a bad case of the flu that may have turned into pneumonia.
The 41-year-old Morrison soon learned that he had suffered a heart attack and had gone into heart failure. He was quickly transported to the Heart Center at Mercy Hospital, where Dr. Henry Meltser was able to implant the Impella heart pump to help stabilize him and restore heart function until he could later undergo open heart surgery.
“I was told that I had only 20% of heart function left and the pump made it possible for me to become strong enough to have the surgery I needed for a LVAD (left ventricular assist device),” said Morrison.
The heart pump is a miniature pump so small that it can be inserted through an artery and placed inside the heart within a few minutes.
“The device allows the patient’s heart to rest and recover in some cases, or it can sustain the patient’s life for hours or days until a heart transplant or more permanent support device is implanted," said Dr. Meltser.
Morrison said, “If it wasn’t for Dr. Meltser and this new pump that gave me the time I needed, I would have been in a lot of trouble.”