John had already participated in three different heart-related drug studies when he heard about an implantable defibrillator study from his cardiologist.
John suffered from cardiomyopathy and viral congestive heart failure. He doesn't know where it came from, but it was very serious. He learned from his doctor that among people who have cardiomyopathy, there is only a 20 percent survival rate after 10 years. And as time goes on, your odds of staying alive with cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure get slimmer and slimmer.
Because he was in a crisis group with congestive heart failure that could lead to death, John qualified for the study along with only 2,000 other people worldwide. "They went back and put my name in the computer and my name popped up. It was like hitting the lottery. I had just been in there for a routine visit. I had my grandson with me and I hadn't expected to spend any time there. Here it is 4 hours later and they're going, well, we can get this thing in on Tuesday. This was on Thursday. I'm going, whoa, whoa. That's how I qualified for it."
John says his implantable defibrillator gives him a great sense of security. He once told a reporter that if they both went into the woods and each suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, he would have a much better chance of coming back than the reporter who didn't have any known health issues.
"Anybody that has sudden cardiac arrest doesn't necessarily have a known heart history problem. That's why so many people die of it. They don't know there's a problem." With his implantable defibrillator, John worries less about cardiac arrest. He knows his device will be there to deliver the therapy he needs.
This story recounts the experience of a patient who is receiving ICD therapy. Medtronic, Inc. invited this person to share his story candidly. As you read it, please bear in mind that these experiences are specific to this particular patient. Results vary; not every response is the same.
This story reflects one person's experience. Not every person will receive the same results. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.