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.”

Phillip’s sister passed away from heart failure when she was 45. Phillip began to experience heart failure symptoms himself around the same age. Feeling short of breath and unable to walk for even short periods of time, Phillip knew that he wanted to intervene sooner rather than later.

When his health began to decline further, he had the option of getting an LVAD. He felt scared to undergo a major surgery. He worried that he might not be strong enough to get through it. But Phillip and his wife remained optimistic.

Phillip decided to get an LVAD because he hoped it might give him the chance to get back to his hobby of building model cars, and more importantly, to spend more time with his 4-year-old granddaughter.

He also hoped that the LVAD might be a bridge to one day getting a heart transplant, if he needed one. But he knew being listed for a transplant was no guarantee.

Phillip was happy to have caregivers close by to help him through his decision and his recovery. His family was local, and he liked the idea of having them nearby for moral support.

Phillip was concerned that caretaking might be a lot of responsibility for his wife. So he told her, “You’re not going to be stuck, because I’m going to do the best I can to help you at the same time you’re helping me.”

When Phillip was scheduled to get his LVAD, he used his time in the hospital to ask his healthcare team as many questions as he could. He wanted to learn more about what to expect from his treatment, and he asked questions about how to pay for his treatment on his limited income. He also wanted to know how to prepare both himself and his wife for future challenges.

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