Real Life Success

MyoCardioCare Saving Lives: A Success Story

Like most young people, Bonnie never considered the possibility of becoming severely ill. Bonnie was eighteen and she was excited to begin her summer vacation after her completing her junior year in high school. Little did she suspect that she was on the verge of heart failure.

One morning, Bonnie woke up feeling like she was getting the flu. She rested for several days, but her symptoms did not improve. Her mother then took her to the local emergency room. Upon arrival, Bonnie’s blood pressure was 70 over 40 (normal is considered 110-120 over 70-80). The ER staff gave Bonnie intravenous fluids, but this therapeutic intervention did not improve her blood pressure.

In spite of all their efforts, the local ER was unable to help Bonnie improve. By this time she was unconscious and they were concerned that her condition was much more serious, so she was flown by helicopter to Duke University Medical Center, where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. Bonnie was diagnosed with Myocarditis, a viral infection that causes inflammation in the heart wall muscles.

Fortunately, Bonnie was at the right place at the right time. Bonnie was rushed into surgery when her heart stopped beating. She was in cardiac arrest. Dr. James E. Lowe, a Duke professor and surgeon, utilized a prior version of the MyoCardioCare technology. He and his team made an incision in Bonnie’s chest and implanted the cup around her heart. The cup was attached to a console that controlled the compression and expansion of her heart, pumping blood to her lungs and the rest of her body. This kept her blood flowing, maintaining her life during the next seven days.

By the seventh day, it was evident that Bonnie’s heart had healed. Dr. Lowe and his team removed the device from her heart and, sure enough, Bonnie had normal blood pressure and cardiac function. Although she had been unconscious even before being admitted to Duke University Medical Center, she awoke that day in her hospital room surrounded by doctors and staff, as well as her grateful family.

After the summer, Bonnie returned to high school and later graduated with her class. Today she is married and is the healthy, busy mother of three boys. She became a surgical technician for the operating room and is presently studying to become a registered nurse. She plans to return to Duke University Medical Center someday, as a registered nurse in the operating room. It would be an amazing end to this story if Bonnie is there someday to assist another patient achieve a similar success with the MCC3000.