DALLAS - Nearly 7 million Americans are suffering from some form of heart failure.
Medications can only do so much to manage the symptoms, but a revolutionary new procedure is giving hope to those whose only option is often a heart transplant.
When Krishna Ludeman entered a hospital to give birth, she never imagined how close to death would come.
"Really close, my heart was functioning at 10% when I delivered," said Ludeman. "I wasn't sure I was going to see my newborn."
She survived but has lived the last 8 years with severe heart failure.
It was managed with medications and a heart transplant was being considered as a last resort.
"A lot of fear, anxiety," Ludeman said. "I was constantly worried that I may not make it ... I spoke to my doctor and I said, 'I think that I'm ready for a new heart.'"
What looks like a pacemaker came along just in time for the Dallas mother and millions of others suffering from heart failure.
It's a new neuro-modulation device that Baylor Scott and White has implanted in nearly 30 patients with great success.
"We have had excellent success so far," said Dr. Amarinder Bindra, MD, an Advanced Heart Failure Cardiologist at Baylor. " I would say about 80% of the patients have gotten back well."
"Immediately after I felt good, I felt that I would wake up in the morning and just be ready to take on the day again," said -Krishna Ludeman, an implant recipient. "You know, I couldn't believe it."
The implant is placed in the chest near the shoulder and stimulates the nerve endings to improve a heart that's failing. It's breakthrough technology that doctors here say could reduce or delay the need for heart transplants.
"It's absolutely promising."
Baylor says it's the only hospital currently using the implants that have Ludeman, who was on the verge of a heart transplant only 8 months ago, back in the gym and pushing her body limits that were unimaginable this time last year.
She may eventually need a transplanted heart, but for now, she's healthy and looking forward to a long future with her son.
"I'm excited about life I'm excited to travel," Ludeman said. "It's so wonderful I feel like my old self again. I feel normal."
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