Dad & his golden eagle

Bryan Culbertson

First post: Jul 5, 2017 Latest post: Nov 7, 2019
Bryan, my dad, started his journey with heart failure in 1993. He was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy--a virus settled in his heart and did its damage. Congestive Heart Failure followed and he has been battling its effects on his body for a long time now. He was eligible for a heart transplant in 1993 but that wasn't for him. Now that he is 71 he is no longer a candidate for a transplant--the cut off age is 70. Would he have done that now had he been given the choice? Probably not. So we do not mourn the fact he cannot have one. He has been given the next best thing--the best option for him honestly: an LVAD. Oh you've never heard of an LVAD? Neither had we until about a month ago! LVAD stand for Left Vetricular Assist Device and it does just what it's title says--it helps the left ventricle pump blood to the body. With Congestive Heart Failure the heart just can't squeeze enough to get blood through the body. The LVAD does the work the left (and most powerful) ventricle cannot do for itself. Now blood is flowing through Dad's body! But the journey has just started. He came through surgery wonderfully. But there is a long recovery ahead and along with that learning a new lifestyle. Dad is basically battery powered now. He has portable batteries and at night he plugs into the wall for power. He even has a car charger! Mom and Dad will be in Salt Lake City for about 3 more months. They will be learning how to care for the site where the LVAD leaves the body, how to maintain batteries, and the doctors will be watching him to make sure he's doing ok. He will go back to Salt Lake for tune ups for the rest of his life after they are released to go back home. We are so blessed to live in a time where this is even a possibility. We are thankful this option was presented to us and thank God for the blessing of every day we have together. And we are thankful to all the people who blazed this trail before us--for the ones who said, "I think this this could work!" and the ones who said, "Yes try it on me." (RIP James Mulkey ❤️) 

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