A new hope for patients with heart failure - Barts Charity
Colin at home with his dog

A new hope for patients with heart failure

A UK-first procedure at St Bartholomew’s Hospital is giving new hope to patients with end-stage heart failure.

  • Date: February 14, 2020

Pioneering heart-pump treatment

Early last year, Colin was “at death’s door” and barely able to walk upstairs because of his heart failure. Colin had suffered from cancer which affected his heart. He had already tried several pacemakers and unfortunately wasn’t eligible for a transplant, so there were very limited treatment options to prolong his life.

Colin’s consultants at St Bartholomew’s Hospital suggested a pioneering treatment which has never been used as a long-term solution in the UK before. The ‘Left Ventricle Assist Device’ is a battery-powered heart pump that’s inserted into the heart and powered by a battery pack sitting outside the body.

It had previously only been used in this country to keep patients’ hearts pumping for a short period. We have given funding for 12 patients to have the procedure as a long term treatment, which is not currently available on the NHS.

Hitting the headlines

See Colin and his Consultant, Dr Alistair Proudfoot, on ITV News at 10.

Watch the video

A UK first

Colin was the first patient in the UK to have the device used in this way. Within a year of his surgery he was able to see his stepson get married and even holiday in Sardinia.

Colin’s stepson and his wife fundraised at their wedding and donated over £600 to Barts Charity to say thank you. Colin says: “I am eternally grateful to Barts Charity – your charitable input to kickstart this whole process will help a lot of people who are desperately ill. I’ve been the lucky recipient of your generosity.

I feel so much better, I’m speaking from the bottom of my heart. I have been so lucky with the team here, they show amazing dedication and it’s been a team effort. The equipment is world-class.”

LVAD patient at his son's wedding

Colin at his stepson’s wedding

Revolutionising patient lives

Dr Simon Woldman, Director of Barts Heart Centre at St Bartholomew’s Hospital adds:

“We are delighted that Colin has done so well following his treatment and has been able to go on holiday. Our aim is to show that this procedure can be done at an acceptable cost, in carefully selected patients. We’ve now treated three patients and we hope for more holiday snaps!

“The funding from Barts Charity for the programme is revolutionising our patients’ lives, and we are unbelievably proud of our alliance with them.”

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