Thanks to the DuraHeart LVAS, 64 year old Paul Nungäßer was able to celebrate his 40th Anniversary
Mr. Nungäßer was diagnosed with heart disease at a very young age after suffering from rheumatic fever. He was on his way to fulfilling his dream of becoming a chef, but was unable to finish his schooling because of shortness of breath, general weakness and lack of energy. While he had these constant reminders of his heart disease, he never lost his positive attitude; he was always upbeat and optimistic.
Mr. Nungäßer underwent a number of medical treatments and procedures to treat his condition from a very young age. His treatments progressed to the point where in 1980, Mr. Nungäßer required cardiac surgery to replace his Aortic Valve. In 1997, Mr. Nungäßer required additional surgery to replace his Mitral Valve. In 2006, with his heart failure symptoms progressively deteriorating, Mr. Nungäßer met with his Physicians at the Heart and Diabetes Center in Bad Oeynhausen, and it was agreed that he would be placed on the heart transplant waiting list. Due to additional health challenges, Mr. Nungäßer was not on the active transplant list, in the hopes that his condition would improve and he would be eventually become eligible for the active list. During this time his heart failure symptoms continued to worsen and in 2007 Mr. Nungäßer had an opportunity to speak with a DuraHeart patient, who spoke highly of the device; coupled with Dr. Banayosy’s recommendation, Mr. Nungäßer chose to bridge his time until transplantation with the DuraHeart LVAS.
Following the successful implant of the DuraHeart, Mr. Nungäßer was discharged and returned home to Frankfurt. Before implantation, he had to use mobile oxygen device during the night and could not sleep due to shortness of breath. Following implantation, he has not needed oxygen, has been able to begin cooking again, is taking care of household chores, gardening, walking his dogs, and has even taken up camping. Mr. Nungäßer thanks DuraHeart for allowing him to continue living with the love of his life.
"Thanks to the DuraHeart LVAS, I've been able to travel between Germany and my native Iraq."
Mohammad Sheto, a resident of Wuppertal, Germany, travels frequently throughout Europe and to his native Iraq. This may not seem extraordinary for a professional painter and father of five, but for someone who suffers from heart failure and has been supported by a Left ventricular Assist Device since the spring of 2009, this is quite an achievement.
Until his heart failure diagnosis, Mr. Sheto enjoyed a successful career as a professional painter and paper hanger. Mr. Sheto, his wife of eighteen years and their five children enjoyed frequent trips to spend time with their extended family in Iraq. Following his diagnosis with heart failure, Mr. Sheto’s physical condition limited his interaction with his children to activities like helping them with homework. With his physical limitations, he could no longer travel to Iraq, where his family had emigrated from when he was twelve.
Mr. Sheto first began to show symptoms of heart disease in 1993. In addition to his heart failure, he was also diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). As his condition worsened, Mr. Sheto was forced to stop working because of his lack of energy and declining health. His heart function was severely restricted and he received intensive medical treatment in an attempt to manage his heart disease. Although his condition gradually improved, he was not able to return to work because of the physical exertion required in his day to day activities and because he was frequently admitted to the hospital for treatment of his symptoms. Finally in 2008, his cardiologists recommended that he transfer to the well-known Heart and Diabetes Center North Rhine-Westphalia in Bad Oeynhausen for treatment.
By January 2009, his condition had deteriorated to the point where he was placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant. After waiting for an organ donor for nearly 3 months, he and Dr. Michel Morshuis discussed some other treatment options. Mr. Sheto was familiar with mechanical circulatory support treatment and had confidence in the team from Bad Oeynhausen. After reviewing the alternatives with his team, Mr. Sheto determined that the DuraHeart™ LVAS was the best option for him.
Following the DuraHeart™ LVAS implant, Mr. Sheto described the recovery process as very smooth with no severe complications. He was discharged four weeks after the operation and chose to complete his rehabilitation at home because he believed that being at home with his family would be the best treatment option for him.
His improved condition, supported by the DuraHeart™ LVAS, has allowed him to travel all over Europe and Eastern Europe. After Mr. Sheto found out he had heart disease, he thought it would not be possible to travel. He feels that DuraHeart has not limited his physical abilities at all, and has helped refreshed his life and expanded his physical capabilities.
In the summer of 2010, Mr. Sheto ordered additional DuraHeart™ equipment and visited his family in Iraq. Traveling with his wife and five children, he was able to return to his home country for a 3 week visit. Even with the summer’s heat of more than 50°C, Mr. Sheto had no issues with his travel, participating in the family activities and managing the DuraHeart™ LVAS.
Mr. Sheto is happy with the performance of the DuraHeart™ LVAS and is planning his next trip – to Turkey.
"I am very happy with my health with the DuraHeart and hope that it continues for many more years."
Herbert Knicker suffered for years with debilitating heart disease. By age 38, he could no longer work as a nurse due to the effects of myocarditis and dilative cardiomyopathy. Seven years later he received a heart defibrillator to treat life-threatening arrhythmias. His condition worsened and the defibrillator was replaced a few years later with a biventricular cardiac pacemaker.
Despite the pacemaker, Mr. Knicker’s health continued to deteriorate. Even taking a couple of steps left him feeling exhausted, so climbing stairs was incredibly difficult and painful. A heart transplant seemed to be the only remaining option but it was impossible due to his weakened condition. His doctors at the Heart and Diabetes Centre in Bad Oeynhausen talked to him about other treatment options using artificial heart technology and left ventricular assist devices.
In August 2008 at age 50, Mr. Knicker was implanted with the DuraHeart Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS). Since the implant, he is feeling much stronger and is happy that the portable DuraHeart system allows him to be active again. Although he misses taking baths and saunas, he accepts these small sacrifices because of the deep satisfaction he feels about his improved physical condition. Now, Mr. Knicker travels a lot and loves going for walks. Before he received DuraHeart, he was not interested in getting involved with anything but now enjoys participating in community activities. Mr. Knicker hopes that his improved health and strength will continue as he awaits a heart transplant.
"I can do everything with DuraHeart and take it wherever I go."
Wolf–Rüdiger Rubert enjoys running his business and engaging in his favorite hobby, hunting. This may not seem out of the ordinary for a man in his sixties, but three years ago Mr. Rubert’s heart function was deteriorating on a daily basis. "I was having dyspnoea even while resting, couldn’t walk stairs or steps anymore and getting depressed and frustrated by being permanently fatigued," says Mr. Rubert describing his condition.
Mr. Rubert needed a heart transplant but his doctors didn’t think he could survive waiting for a donor heart without the help of a left ventricular assist device. After discussing available options with his physician, Mr. Rubert had confidence in moving forward with the implant of the DuraHeart Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS).