Patient & Caregiver Stories

As you consider your options, it can be helpful to hear from those who have chosen to get an LVAD. Here, LVAD patients and caregivers share what it’s like to live with an LVAD.
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LVAD Patient
“I know I’m going to keep my strength up to come out strong.”

Brenda’s doctor recommended the LVAD. But the idea of surgery scared her. “What if I die on the operating table?” she feared.

Still, she was tired of feeling out of breath. She also wanted to move around more easily. At 56, the former facilities operator was used to being on the go.

Brenda talked with an LVAD patient to get more information. He told her how the device helped him get back to activities he enjoyed. Brenda felt that maybe the LVAD could help her, too. She still wasn’t sure, but she decided to try it.

After getting her LVAD, Brenda went to her medical appointments regularly. She felt pretty good, though she sometimes still got a little tired. But she was able to make her bed, sweep, dust, and even mop a little bit when it didn’t require too much bending over.

Brenda lives alone with her daughter nearby. She appreciates the support of the LVAD team whenever she has a concern

“They are so nice,” she said. “They treat you like family.”

She also feels that her faith helped her to gain strength and independence during recovery. Most LVAD patients have only one device in their lifetime. But Brenda has had to replace her LVAD twice. This was because of infections in the driveline. The surgeries have been hard on her mentally and physically. But she believes the LVAD has saved her life.“I don’t want to keep the LVAD for the rest of my life,” Brenda says. “I really want to get a new heart.” She is waiting to see whether certain health improvements will make her eligible for a transplant. "Until that time comes," she said, "I'm satisfied with the LVAD."

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