A Heartbeat Away - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

A Heartbeat Away

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WSVN -- Walking and holding his wife's hand is something Charlemagne Charles didn't think he would do again.

Charlemagne Charles: "I had heart trouble."

His heart was failing.

Yvrose Charles: "He was coming back and forth to the hospital and having difficulty to breathe."

Doctors at North Shore Florida Medical Center campus said surgery to repair his heart was the only way.

Dr. Alfredo Rego: "Some patients are so ill and debilitated by this disease they can't even talk without getting short of breath."

But three days after surgery his wife got even more devastating news.

Dr. Matthew Carr: "His heart wasn't pumping enough blood to keep the rest of his organs working."

That's when a team of cardiologists was called in to save him.

Dr. Matthew Carr: "I was asked to put the tandem heart device in to help his heart until he could recover."

The tandem heart device literally takes over the function of the heart. Blood is removed through tubes from the body and the pump sends it back through.

Dr. Matthew Carr: "So the blood comes out of the body here, goes into the pump, the pump spins around and drives, the blood back through this other tube."

The heart pump is only used in extreme cases.

Yvrose Charles: "Usually, when they do that there's a 50-50 percent chance, and nothing is guaranteed but we're doing everything we can."

But for Charlemangne it worked. After several days surgeons removed the device and his heart starting pumping on its own.

Charlemagne Charles: "They took the machine off, and God said you have to work, I praise Him for that."

Yvrose Charles: "I am very, very thankful because without the tandem heart he wouldn't make it."

The tandem heart device is also used in patients who are awaiting a heart transplant.


North Shore Medical CenterFlorida Medical Center Campuswww.fmc-campus.com

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