Heart failure treatment gives man ‘a life again’

August 8, 2014

Ross SwiftRoss Swift said his life had improved, but he remains on the organ transplant list

A Devon man fitted with a new device aimed at supporting a failing heart, says it means he has “a life again”.

Ross Swift, 54, from Ivybridge, is believed to be the first UK patient to receive the Sunshine Heart implant, which helps reduce the organ’s pumping workload.

Mr Swift said the device meant he had was able to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding this month.

One expert said the device added a “tremendous amount of quality of life”.

The implant, called the C-Pulse, involves a cuff or balloon which is placed on the ascending aorta and works by reducing the workload of the left ventricle.

During inflation of the balloon, blood flow is increased to the coronary arteries. The cuff then compresses and releases the aorta, helping the heart to function.

Although it requires the wearing of an external pack, Mr Swift said his new lease of life was not something he had not thought possible prior to having the device being fitted at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Andre Simon, director of heart transplantation at the trust, said Mr Swift had been fitted with the device as part of a study.

He said: “It works in harmony with the heart … the heart gets more blood and it gets easier for the heart to work.”

Ross SwiftMr Swift said the device meant he was able to participate in the wedding of his daughter

Although Mr Swift remains on an organ transplant list, he said the device meant he was more mobile and able to join in the celebrations for his daughter Hayley’s wedding in Ugborough on 9 August.

He said: “I was just sick looking out of the window, watching the leaves fall, thinking: ‘This is it, I’ve not got long to go’.

“Now I’ve got a life again and, hopefully, a heart will come along in the next two years and I can start again.”

Mr Simon said: “It’s better than we expected or hoped.

“It may not prolong life, but it does add a tremendous amount of quality of life.”