Heart procedure gives new lease on life

Published 10:56 am Saturday, September 10, 2016

Three high-risk heart patients have a new lease on life thanks to a special procedure and the cardiologists who were part of the process.

James Lasseter, 79, Elmire Guillory, 85 and Mattie Warren, 73, celebrated their health alongside cardiologists Dr. Murlidhar Amin and Dr. Kunal Sarkar at the Atrium Building in Nederland on Friday.

“I’d never had a heart problem before,” Lasseter said.

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But that changed. The Bridge City man had gotten to where he couldn’t walk to his garage, about 50 to 60 feet, without losing his breath. His wife would bring a towel to wipe the sweat from his face as he stopped to catch his breath.

“I didn’t realize I had a heart problem. I had no pain,” he said.

Lasseter, as well as Guillory and Warren, underwent a Protected Percutaneous Coronary intervention procedure, in which a small heart pump, the Impella, was inserted to allow the heart to rest and reduce the workload so that doctors could put in stents to clear blockages and restore blood flow.

“I can do yard work,” he said with a smile. “I feel it put 30 years on my life.”

Guillory has had heart problems in the past and was not a candidate for a bypass.

“The doctors saved my life,’ Guillory said. “I’ve never felt better. I work in my yard, do all my housework and I live along, though my children don’t like it.”

Warren said she didn’t know how bad of a shape she was in until the doctors told her. She knew she didn’t want to go through open-heart surgery and told them this.

“They did the procedure and I’m a new person. I work, take care of three to four kids. Go walking. If it’s raining I walk at Walmart,” Warren said. “All things are possible through Christ.”

Cardiologist Dr. Kunal Sarkar said all three of the patents were extremely sick with very well advanced heart disease. There was too much of a risk with other types of surgery plus the fact that some may not make it through the recovery process.

The Protected PCI procedure was the best option.

Sarkar, who is associated with The Medical Center of Southeast Texas and Methodist Hospital, has performed 15 of the procedures and all have had excellent results.

Mary Meaux: 409-721-2429

Twitter: @MaryMeauxPANews