Fort Meyers, FL
EECP® Treatment Helps Patient Achieve Lifelong Goals
Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Charles F. Hoy Jr. assumed that the chest pain he had been having was heartburn. He was wrong!
Charles was experiencing severe angina. He managed to stay on active duty about a year after first experiencing angina by working half days and being careful. He usually took two nitroglycerin tablets to get from the Pentagon parking lot to the office.
"It was nice when I could start the day at a quiet meeting elsewhere and get to the office late, thus avoiding the stress of the morning traffic, but that often meant that I had to walk an extra distance from the massive parking area. Sometimes you can't win," said Charles.
After a year, Charles was given a medical discharge because of his heart disease. He remained on medication for 12 years after retiring to a quiet spot in Florida near Patrick Air Force Base. In May 1980, a complication, type II diabetes, joined his ever-increasing array of health problems.In 1982, Charles had another attack of severe angina while on a trip visiting old friends in San Antonio, Texas. After he was stabilized, his physician said he could get Charles back on the road in three days by performing angioplasty rather than bypass, which required a long hospital stay. Charles immediately agreed to an angioplasty.
After the angioplasty, relief from chest pain lasted about a year, but then he was back on nitroglycerin tablets again. Another angiogram revealed that he had at least three serious blockages around the heart, and three aneurysms in the aorta. Charles underwent bypass surgery, and two months later his vascular surgeon gave him a new plastic aorta.
This year Charles planned a dream vacation to tour the Hawaiian islands. A pre-vacation checkup revealed that Charles blood sugar and triglycerides were elevated, and he did not do well on the stress test. An angiogram showedthat two of his five bypasses were blocked (one 100% the other and the other 70%). Not able to undergo another angioplasty, he was given a strict diet and new medications.
Just one week before his scheduled departure for Hawaii, he had to take two nitroglycerin tablets and finally, a third. When the pain didn't diminish he knew he was in trouble. He was admitted to intensive care and treated forfull-blown congestive heart failure. The cardiologist on call confirmed he was not a candidate for invasive treatment and recommended EECP therapy.
After receiving EECP treatment, Charles resigned himself to careful control of his diet and exercise for the rest of his life. He entered a rehabilitation exercise program where he rides a stationary bike for 30 minutes, liftsweights, and does other exercises that would have been impossible before.
"I am free of angina without having had an operation of any kind! The good news is that I've lost 35 pounds; the bad news is that my pants are too big! I feel fine and ready to get back into our travel program," said Charles.
Quality of Life Improves after EECP® Treatment
"My father died very suddenly of a heart attack 25 years ago," said Marjorie Kepner. "I often think that he would have lived longer if the knowledge and treatments we have today were available."
Like her father, she suffers with coronary artery disease. She has undergone two cardiac catheterizations, and two angioplasties followed by a triple bypass. She then had two more catheterizations and angioplasties and the installation of a stent. "Following these treatments, I was still experiencing frequent angina," said Mrs. Kepner. "Then my cardiologist recommended EECP® therapy."Having experienced the benefits from one of the most recent developments in the treatment of angina, Mrs. Kepner now has angina only once or twice a month. She reported that she can again enjoy scouting for antiques with her husband and noted that recently she walked the distance of a fairground without pain."Our business, the Kepner Collection, keeps us as busy as we want to be," she said. "When you examine antiques closely, you can see the love, care and talent that went into crafting them."
"EECP® treatment gave me more strength and energy," said Mrs. Kepner, a professional singer for many years, who continues to sing in her church choir. "I've become a believer in EECP® treatment. It was well worth the effort and has improved my quality of life."
Altamonte Springs, FL
Angina Pain Subsides with EECP® Treatment
Morton "Mickey" Schiff had his first heart attack when he was only 32. At the time, he was working as a civil engineer on a secret government job, which was very stressful. For years, his heart condition was kept under control by drugs, and he was able to live a fairly normal life. He has taken Coumadin since it was invented, and nitroglycerin.
About six years ago, he started to have disabling angina attacks. He couldn't walk from a restaurant to his car in the parking lot. He couldn't catch his breath. Often, he had to stop whatever he was doing. An angiogram showed that he had inoperable triple-vessel disease. "Only a combination of blockages in all three major coronary arteries rivals a blockage in the main left coronary artery in destructive power," say Drs. Peter and Joan Cohn in their book, Fighting the Silent Killer.
Not a candidate for angioplasty, Schiff wouldn't accept that he couldn't have surgery or angioplasty at first. Everyone, however, who saw his angiogram agreed that his condition was inoperable.
A friend of Mickey’s found a back issue of Newsweek magazine with an article on EECP® treatment. He was certain that it was a procedure that would help Mickey. Feeling that since no other treatment was available, Mickey wanted to try EECP® treatment.
Since receiving EECP® treatment, he has been very active. Mickey owns a travel agency and has traveled extensively. He went on an extensive tour of Scotland and a strenuous three-week tour of China and Hong Kong, which included seven cities. Mickey even climbed the Great Wall of China, which is the only man-made structure that is visible from outer space. This climb would be difficult for someone in the best of conditions. Mickey did it in cold weather with ice and snow on the ground. He managed to climb the stairways. "This was strenuous. I could never have done it before I underwent EECP® treatment," said Mickey.
In June, Mickey and his wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Israel. He travels there every year. He also took an Alaskan cruise in September. He walks in a mall for about 45 minutes each day to stay in shape.
Despite the damage to his heart, he rarely has angina now. Before he had EECP® treatment, he had severe angina attacks two to three times a day. It used to wake him up at night at least twice a week. Now, he is rarely awakened by angina, which occurs when he eats late and has a rich meal.
Schiff has 14 grandchildren. "It's wonderful," he said. "I can go fishing and go into New York City with them without having angina."
EECP® Treatment Helps Renew Energy Levels
"I don't have the faintest idea how EECP® treatment worked, but it did," said William Young. "EECP® treatment made me feel so much better that I want to get out and go and do. I'm nearly 80 and I'm having a good time."
William had bypass surgery ten years ago and began experiencing chest pain nearly a year ago. A cardiac catheterization revealed that his condition was inoperable, and his cardiologist recommended EECP® treatment.
Since receiving treatment, William has been exercising on a treadmill for 20 minutes as often as five times a week. He uses exercise equipment at the University of Kentucky athletic department where he has been working for years. William works approximately 30 hours a week, making arrangements for entertaining and escorting recruits for the football and basketball teams and their families on campus and working in the ticket office.
William has been free of chest pain since undergoing EECP® treatment, noting that he only feels a little stress when he climbs stairs. "I don't feel any stress or strain when I take my treadmill walks," he said.
"I wake up in a good mood. I'm happy to be alive," said Young, who doesn't limit his friendliness to college athletes. "I never meet a stranger because I smile at everyone."
Santa Rosa, CA
Attacks of Angina Clear up after EECP® Treatment
“I forget that I have a bad heart," said Wilbur Barrett Pierce, D.C. "I even forget to take my nitroglycerin with me when I go out because I don't need to take it anymore."
Before Pierce underwent EECP® treatment last year. He experienced attacks of angina at least once a week while walking. When Dr. Pierce had difficulty breathing because of an especially irritating bout of hay fever six years ago, he began using an inhaler. However, after several days, Dr. Pierce complained that the medication was causing pains in his chest.
His physician immediately hospitalized him. An angiogram revealed that he had severe, inoperable coronary artery disease. Dr. Pierce took the only option that was available to him and underwent EECP® treatment. “I feel much better now than I did before I had EECP® treatment," said Dr. Pierce.
Dr. Pierce still maintains his private chiropractic practice, seeing between 30 and 40 patients three days a week. "You have to be in good physical shape to do physiotherapy," said Dr. Pierce, who says that the only thing that slows him down is his knees. "Chiropractic medicine isn't an easy profession."
Activity Gets A Boost after EECP® Treatment
Dr. Robert Turner and his wife, Marguerite live at "Beltayne" in Chesterfield County. He was the assistant state superintendent for education in Virginia before he retired and is still a member of the Virginia State Advisory Committee for Gifted Education. Dr. Turner mends the fences on his three farms in Virginia without assistance. "Farming ensures that you have to stay active," said Dr. Turner.
When he chases cattle that break through the fence, he admits to experiencing chest pain a few times a year. "Sometimes I think that I'm too active," said Dr. Turner. Chasing cattle is quite a feat for Dr. Turner, who remembers being practically immobile before he began EECP® treatment six years ago.
"Today I can be reasonably active and productive. Before I had EECP® treatment, life was not worth living," said Dr. Turner who also tends to a farm garden, grows hay, and manages a timber operation.
Dr. Turner was diagnosed with coronary artery disease in 1972. He has lost count of the number of cardiac catheterizations he has undergone. He underwent several angioplasties where the longest period of relief lasted for only three weeks, as well as two bypass operations. EECP® treatment made it possible for Dr. Turner to avoid a third bypass operation. This was his only alternative until he found EECP® treatment. "I probably wouldn't have survived a third one," said Dr. Turner. His surgeon had given him a less than 40% chance of making it through a third bypass, saying that he didn't like to have his patients die on the table.
Dr. Turner and his wife just celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary and are looking forward to celebrating their 50th anniversary.
Patient Resumes Lifestyle Following EECP® Treatment
Jay Weller ate only good-for-you foods, exercised regularly, and never smoked in his life. Yet, he had a heart attack when he was only 45 years old. He traces his heart problems to his family history. After his first heart attack in 1988, he required four angioplasties during the next eight years to stay free of pain. When the last one failed in 1996, his cardiologists were reluctant to try another.
Because the area of involvement was so unstable his only realistic option was to undergo an operation called a minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB) where the sternum is not cracked and the heart is not stopped. Jay came through the surgery successfully and went home a week later. The very next day while walking with his wife, Fran, he experienced angina.
An emergency coronary angiogram revealed that the arterial graft placed during the MIDCAB had completely closed. At that point, his coronary artery was barely functioning. He was experiencing recurrent angina because much of the heart muscle was still alive and was supplied with oxygen by smaller collateral blood vessels, which could not provide enough oxygen to his heart muscle, leaving him in an almost continual state of pain and discomfort. He was using nitrolingual spray 10-12 times a day and would wake up several times during the night with angina attacks.
Jay began EECP® treatment, which has made a major difference in his recovery. He was able to resume his job as a certified public accountant and much of his previous lifestyle. Today, he still uses nitrolingual spray while exercising on the treadmill or when in particularly stressful situations, but feels this is a small price to pay considering the overall improvement in his lifestyle.
Jay exercises on a treadmill for one hour every morning before work, usually walking more than three miles while working up a pretty good sweat. On the weekends, he walks about four miles outdoors. "I am grateful that EECP® treatment has relieved my angina, which can be so debilitating and discouraging to those who must endure it," said Jay.
EECP® Treatment Helps Energize and Invigorate
Walking on level ground to the hospital for his first treatment with EECP® treatment, Ed Borovay had to stop seven times to take nitroglycerin tablets. Ed and his wife walked past a hill in San Francisco, which they estimated at seven stories high. He said that he would be able to climb it someday. During the last week of treatment, Ed climbed that same hill without stopping or taking nitroglycerin tablets. "When I got to the top, I said to a bystander, "That's a long hill for an old man." He replied, "That's a long hill for a young man."
Ed had his first heart attack in 1984. He had a quadruple bypass in 1984, which closed up, and then he had a triple bypass in 1988. In 1990, he had carotid artery surgery. His angina resumed and he was put on medication, which helped relieve his angina somewhat.
Ed continued to experience moderate to severe angina as often as 10 times a day, especially after he ate, depending on whether he felt calm or "under the gun." As soon as his son learned of EECP® treatment on the Internet, Ed wanted to try it.
After treatment, he felt invigorated. Today, Ed climbs 30 stairs to his own fur business and trading company every morning. He likes to keep active and walks for five miles every Sunday without taking nitroglycerin tablets. He reports that he feels good and energetic.
"I have grandchildren and a great-grandchild, and I'm happy that I'm still around," he says.
Non-invasive Treatment Provides Optimal Results
Although Donald Brown has had three angioplasties, his angina came back with a vengeance at his granddaughter's eighth-grade graduation last spring. He didn't want to ruin the graduation by going to the emergency room. Waiting to seek help turned into a blessing because it gave his wife Elaine time to find out about EECP® treatment.
Because the angioplasties were unsuccessful, Elaine was terrified that her husband would need bypass surgery, and was always looking for a non-invasive treatment. After she read about EECP® treatment in the Reader's Digest, she stayed on the telephone until she found a program where her husband could receive treatment.
Since completing treatment, Donald feels better. Not long ago, he had a flat tire on his way to visit his sister in Macon, Georgia. Despite huffing and puffing up a hill to get help he felt no trace of angina. If this stressful experience had happened before EECP® treatment, he says that he would have had severe angina and would have been "popping nitroglycerin tablets left and right."
The Browns' lives are very hectic. They are raising three grandchildren, Brian, 13, Charlene, 14, and Daniel, 8, and participate in the same activities as young parents such as, ball games, parades, Little League games, and Cub Scout events. With three children in three different schools, they do a lot of running around. Since receiving EECP® treatment, Donald has more energy and feels more alert. "After all, I have to keep up with three teenagers and my wife, Elaine," said Donald.
Activity Gets a Boost after EECP® Treatment
The only thing that bothers him now is his arthritis, says William Garguilo, 27 years after his first in a series of major heart attacks. With a family history of heart disease, William had a triple bypass in the mid-1970s. However, as time went on, he experienced more frequent attacks of angina. In the late 1980s, he went on permanent disability. At that time, his doctor said that nothing more could be done for him.
Although William was taking medication, he said "I couldn't walk two blocks; I felt knocked out all of the time. My legs felt like dead weights, and I couldn't catch my breath." A cardiac catheterization revealed new blockages in his coronary arteries. His cardiologist did not feel his condition was severe enough to risk another bypass operation and recommended EECP® treatment.
Today, William goes for five-mile walks, and swims and plays soccer with his 13-year-old granddaughter and 10-year-old twin grandsons.
A long-time member of the American Heart Association support group Mended Hearts, William visits heart patients in the hospital and at home. "When people come back from heart surgery, they feel as though they have one foot in the grave," he says. "I tell them that I've lived with heart disease for 27 years, have outlived the warranty, and feel great."
A member of the local school board for 15 years, William also sings in a choral group that visits nursing homes. "When we begin to sing, I can see the light coming back into the residents' eyes," he explains. On Sundays after Mass, he also visits people who are homebound to bring them communion. "Visiting is a great feeling," he says. "You get back what you give 10 times over."
Patient Explains Feel-good Benefits of EECP® Treatment
Last June Justine Reynolds began experiencing a sensation that felt as though there was a sponge that needed water in her chest. After she told her physician, he sent her for a stress thallium test and angiography, which showed triple-vessel coronary artery disease. Her cardiologist found that the main coronary artery had a 99% blockage. He gave her the choice between EECP® treatment and bypass surgery.
Before she left the hospital, her cardiologist told her to go home and think about EECP® treatment. She didn't have to think about it. EECP® treatment seemed like a much more plausible treatment to her than bypass surgery.
For her, the treatment was not stressful. She just got on the table and was ready to go. She took several friends who are nurses along to her treatment sessions. They thought that she was going to be shaken apart. "It's true that you can't help noticing the air pressure, but it's nothing to shy away from. In fact, I miss that thing. Maybe I need to be shook up," said Justine.
She is fine now and mows her yard with a self-propelled, walk-behind mower. Before having EECP® treatment, she knew there was trouble coming on for more than a year. She had a peculiar feeling when she walked and couldn't keep up with her walking group. This year, she is looking forward to walking with them.
Justine volunteers at Interchurch Social Services and also goes to several meetings each month. At a meeting recently, one gentleman remarked that her color was a lot better than it used to be. "You know there's a real change if a man can notice a difference," said Justine.
She heartily recommends EECP® treatment, indicating that since she received EECP® treatment she has had no angina, never uses nitroglycerin tablets, and exercises every day that the weather is fine. "In fact, I feel good all of the time" said Justine.
Activity Gets a Boost after EECP® Treatment
Dee Plastini has a family history of heart disease and she herself has had a heart attack at age 50. She then underwent three angioplasties, which failed. After completing a course of EECP® therapy, Dee did everything in “moderation.” She walked three miles everyday and went to cardiac rehabilitation three times per week.