They used to be considered temporary life-savers, but today, thousands of people are living with them implanted in their chests.
She had just given birth to her third child when a rare and life-threatening heart problem hit 40-year-old Kyla Davis. Surgeons rushed her into open-heart surgery, where they implanted a battery-operated pump to keep her alive.
“She was going to imminently pass if we hadn’t intervened,” said Amarinder S. Bindra, MD, Cardiologist, Baylor Scott & White Health.
The pump called a Left Ventricular Assist Device, or LVAD, is daunting at first. But enter Kyla’s family.
Her husband, Ryan, changes her dressing and found a belt that keeps her more mobile. And her three kids make sure her batteries are freshly charged every night.
Reece Davis, Kyla’s 8-year-old son said, “The controller like has a pump that goes into the heart that shoots out blood, well that’s crazy, I don’t know how they did it.”
“They’ve seen that the doctors have done an amazing job of helping save mommy. They know that mommy’s a miracle, they know that it’s a blessing that I’m here with them.”
“She’s probably the best patient we have with the LVAD. She’s taking care of her kids. She’s back to her job. This is just the best possible outcome that we could hope,” said Doctor Bindra.
From watching her daughter’s first dance recital to cherishing every day with her entire family, Kyla knows none of this could happen without a little help from her mechanical ‘friend’
About the only thing Kyla can’t do is swim or take a bath. She can take showers, as long as she puts her heart assist device in a waterproof nylon bag.