Going to ACC.19 convention in NOLA

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Videos and more photos coming soon…

Mid-March, Des and I were invited to join this year’s ACC convention in New Orleans. We went to showcase our life with the HeartMate3 LVAD system, meet leading cardiovascular health professionals and organizations to advocate for patients like me.

It was also an opportunity to meet the people leading the advancement of heart health, those developing novel technologies, and therapies. We have also taken some time to discover NOLA or the Big Easy, its food, the music, we went to an NBA game and caught up with a long-time friend.

The special moment for us at the convention came early on the first day when Desirée and I were reunited with three of the doctors who greatly impacted my life.

Dr. Dieye Ousmane treated my dilated cardiomyopathy in Dakar, Senegal. When I flew to UC Davis for the fellowship and my heart failure was triggered, Dr. Xu ZI-Jian and his team at Sutter Medical Health Center in Sacramento stabilized me and knew I needed an LVAD while I waited for a heart transplant. Because we had family in Boston, Dr. Xu referred me to the Brigham & Women’s, which is where we moved as well. I was implanted with the Heartmate3 LVAD there. Dr. Givertz Michael is part of the team that implanted me. We also met Dr. Eldrin Lewis and Dr. Mandeep Mehra who are members of my team at the Brigham.

Going to the convention was a great experience. We’ve learned so much and met so many inspirational patients and great professionals. The conversations were meaningful and we appreciated the interest everyone has shown in our story and for the prospect, the technology that is keeping me strong could mean for others and their loved ones. Remarkably, the two-year survival data of the Heartmate3 were released at the event, showing a rate that is comparable to that of heart transplantation – See press article here. This news was a pleasant surprise and is very encouraging for the mechanical circulatory systems technological innovation and what it would mean to applicable and eligible heart patients around the world for the years to come. 

During our visit, we also made time for some video shoots.

And on my return, I caught with our friends Meghan and Kevin to talk about my experience at the ACC.19 and for me to hear about the preparation for the Boston Marathon.

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