Cardio implant gives new life to patients with heart issues

The CardioMEMS device is implanted into heart failure patients' pulmonary artery.
The CardioMEMS device is implanted into heart failure patients' pulmonary artery.(WOIO)
Updated: Dec. 3, 2020 at 4:26 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Stephen Lewis thought he was out of options.

“I thought that many times, that we had kind of reached the end of what any doctor could do at this point.”

The veteran, loving husband, father & grandfather suffered from several heart attacks throughout his life. One of them, brought him close to death.

His wife, Gail, recalled the harrowing experience saying, “he went in for a...stress test and he actually went into cardiac arrest and died. That’s when things progressed so bad.”

It wasn’t until cardiologists with Prisma Health introduced him to a tiny lifesaving piece of equipment called a CardioMEMS that his life was changed.

“Dr. Napier thought this could help me...” Stephen said, “After I did the procedure, I didn’t even feel like I had done it as far as pain or anything. I went home the next day and haven’t looked back since.”

Doctor Rebecca Napier with Prisma Health, the cardiologist who worked with Stephen and Gail, said this innovation, which is implanted in patients, allows for drastic improvements to patients quality of life.

“This device allows basically take the guesswork out of managing their heart failure. It not only translates into quality of life, but we also know it reduces their chance of ending up in the hospital with heart failure by more than 60%.”

According to Prisma Health, since the device launched at Prisma Health five years ago, “426 devices have been implanted in patients...the most implantations of any healthcare system across the country.”

As for Stephen and his family - this CardioMEMS has given them new hope.

“I don’t have any stress about this at all - I’m really pleased with the outcome. It’s been good for me, and I can pretty much do what I want without reservation.”

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