In 2002, after experiencing congestive heart failure, undergoing testing, observation and family history, Glenn was diagnosed with Afib (Atrial Fibrillation) and Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, MN. With an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) in place, many new medications and strict orders from his Cardiologist, Glenn left the hospital feeling much better.
Forward to about 13 years later, late 2015, Glenn started to experience increasing symptoms of congestive heart failure once again. After a week long stay at St. Mary's - testing and observation from his Cardiologist - it was determined that the medications were no longer working for Glenn and he was in advanced heart failure. He was faced with two options: Heart Transplant or an LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device/Heart Pump). Because of Glenn's blood type and the long wait of two plus years in Minnesota for a heart transplant, Glenn opted for the LVAD/Heart Pump. This device would assist his weakened heart to pump blood. It is also called a "bridge to transplant".
LEFT VENTRICULAR ASSIST DEVICEhttps://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ventricular-assist-device/home/ovc-20167061
In April 2016, Glenn underwent surgery at St. Mary's Hospital to implant his LVAD. He received the latest model, the Heartmate III. After almost two weeks in the hospital, a TON of education for himself, Roxanne and his daughter, Trista for his new device, new medications, new diet and restrictions, Glenn returned home. Though, Glenn felt a lot better, life back at home wasn't the same - carrying two large batteries in a vest or backpack at all times, a control unit and a wire connector which extended outside of his abdomen. And not to mention the sterile site care every day.
As Glenn would say, "it's cumbersome".
Large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry or use; unwieldy.
Slow or complicated and therefore inefficient.
After about 6 months post heart pump, Glenn decided he wanted to give heart transplant a go. He talked with Mayo Clinic and because of his age (68) and the long wait in Minnesota with his blood type, Mayo could not accept him into their criteria (age 70 is the cut off). So he did some research and found himself traveling to Phoenix, AZ Mayo Clinic for testing and consultation to be accepted into their program.
Things happen for a reason, whether its luck, destiny or the grace of God, this was not the right time for Glenn, nor the place.
After almost exactly one year post Mayo Phoenix, after MANY consultations and tests, Glenn was accepted into the UW Madison/Veterans Hospital Program to be listed for a heart transplant. It's a sigh of relief, it's exciting and it's worrisome all at the same time. BUT...
This is what MY DAD wants. He wants to live a better quality of life. He wants to be free of batteries, wires, controllers, extra batteries, be able to swim in the ocean with his grandchildren, to take a River Cruise with my mom, get on a fishing boat with his brothers and sisters. He wants to be free of the cumbersome.