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Back from the Brink – Gallant DR ICD Empowers Navy Vet to Live Life to the Fullest

Abbott Cardiac Rhythm Management | November 11, 2022
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Rob was a Navy veteran, husband, and father of two who was in the best shape of his life when he suffered a full cardiac arrest.

A proud Navy veteran, service was part of his family’s legacy. He left for Navy training immediately after his high school graduation. Three deployments took him to the Gulf War - Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, and Operation Enduring Freedom. Even though his tour of duty ended in 1994, in 2010 Rob decided he wanted to return to service in the Navy.

So, he started working out – hard.

Rob says, at that time, he was in the best shape of his life, “I was 10 feet tall and bullet-proof.”

Even that couldn’t protect him from falling victim to a full cardiac arrest – on April Fools’ Day, no less. But what happened to Rob was no joke.

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In those first crucial minutes after his cardiac arrest, Rob received chest compressions. Then, when emergency services arrived, he received his first shock from a defibrillator at eight minutes after his initial arrest. He was shocked five times on his way to the hospital.

Just as doctors were starting to tell his wife they were sorry, that they did everything they could, Rob’s heart miraculously started beating again. After that, he fell in and out of a coma, and his prognosis was grim.

Doctors warned his family to be prepared – that if Rob did wake from the coma, he probably wouldn’t be able to care for himself, so they should start thinking about making plans for his care.

 


Once Rob’s condition stabilized and improved, and it was apparent that he was going to survive, doctors approached him to ask if he would consider receiving an implantable device that is both a pacemaker and defibrillator, so he could be shocked out of a fatal rhythm if a similar episode should happen again.

He agreed.

Rob received a Gallant™ DR Insertable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) implant before he left the hospital. He says it is the best thing that ever happened to him.

Devices like the Gallant DR ICD that Rob received provide Ventricular Fibrillation Therapy Assurance (VFTA), which decreases time to treatment for arrhythmias in patients who are likely to be hemodynamically unstable. VFTA can address five out of six causes that can lead to a deadly event.

In fact, data show that 86% of at-risk patients who would have been otherwise untreated for potentially life-threatening arrhythmias were saved by VFTA.1 More than 800 patients globally with challenging arrhythmias could have their lives saved each year.

Thankfully, Rob was one of those patients. Today he is busy with a job that keeps him on the road traveling to 13 states. When he isn’t traveling for work, he spends his spare time riding his motorcycle. Whether he is cruising on his bike or flying out on a business trip, he spends a lot of time alone.

Rob’s Gallant DR ICD gives him and his family peace of mind knowing he will be protected, he says.

He has lived to see his daughters graduate from high school, been to his daughter’s wedding, taken a cross-country trip along Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica on his motorcycle, all with the confidence of knowing the Gallant DR ICD will deliver the therapy he needs to stay alive so he can continue making memories with his family and friends, and enabling him to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Watch Rob’s testimonial here, and to learn more about Abbott’s full suite of ICD options, visit our website.

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References

1. Wilkoff, Bruce L, Sterns, Laurence D, Katcher, Michael S, et al. Novel Ventricular TachyarrhythmiaDetection Enhancement Detects Undertreated Life-Threatening Arrhythmias. Heart Rhythm O2,2021, ISSN 2666 5018,https://doi.org/10.1016/j hroo.2021.11.009. 

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