One Patient’s Story: How VAD Implant Surgery Changed Her Life
Cheryl Henderson, 56, is the mother of two, with two grandchildren. She was born with a leaky heart valve that was never repaired, and she has had congestive heart failure for years. She came to Einstein for help. This is her story in her own words.
“Because of the heart failure, I couldn’t stand on my feet too long or lift things. Living like this made me tired and depressed. I was told I am a candidate for a heart transplant, but that I needed help right away. Einstein doctors told me I could have a VAD (ventricular assist device) implanted, and that I needed it now.
“My boyfriend, daughter and mother wanted me to get the VAD. They wanted me to live. I was excited thinking about getting the implant because I would be around to see my grandkids graduate from high school and get married.
“After I got out of surgery, the nurses were so good to me. They treated me like I was the queen of the world!
“I’m taking less medicine now than before I had surgery. Now I have more energy. I can walk around, do dishes, put color in my hair, and go to cookouts. And I feel good emotionally.
“I tell everyone thinking about getting a VAD: If you want to live a long, prosperous life, do it! I’m living proof of how Einstein helped me.”