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Firefighter with failing heart may get second chance with new tech

Firefighter Mike Arnold is the first patient to receive a heart pump from Nebraska Heart Hospital that may cause his heart to heal itself


By FireRescue1 Staff

LINCOLN, Neb. — A firefighter who suffers from a failing heart may not have to get a transplant thanks to new technology.

1011 Now reported that Mike Arnold recently received a new type of heart pump from Nebraska Heart Hospital that could cause his heart to heal itself, according to his doctors.

Firefighter Mike Arnold recently received HeartMate3, the newest version of a commonly used heart pump. (Photo/St. Jude Medical)
Firefighter Mike Arnold recently received HeartMate3, the newest version of a commonly used heart pump. (Photo/St. Jude Medical)

Arnold, 51, found out his heart was failing nine years ago.

"I went from being indestructible, to not being able to do anything," Arnold said.

Dr. Gina Mentzer referred him to the Nebraska Heart Hospital so he could be the first patient to receive HeartMate 3, the newest version of a commonly used heart pump.

"This device is actually FDA approved for patients who will recover from their heart failure, which I think is a really important thing for him because he's young, he's never had a heart attack, his heart's just been sick," Arnold’s surgeon, Dr. Sagar Damle, said. "If we can let his heart rest with this heart pump in place for maybe a year or who knows two years, we may be able to go back in there and take the pump out without him ever needing a transplant.”

Arnold said he can already feel the difference in his health a week after his surgery.

"What I felt like coming in, I was sleeping 16-18 hours a day, I was tired, didn't feel like doing anything and now, I feel good," he said. 

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