Lifewatch: New heart pump

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - A new portable heart pump may give heart failure patients a second chance at life.

Patient Orfelina Torres has the Heartmate and says she already feels a difference.

"Before it was so hard for me to move around my room to the kitchen," said Torres. "Sometimes I couldn't even make it. It was very, very hard for me. And now I have energy. I'm alive again."

The compact size of the pump means more heart failure patients will be able to use it.

"The heart rate 2 is a smaller device and it's easier to put in place, particularly in smaller individuals, like smaller women and even adolescents and children," said Cardiologist, Dr. Ray Hershberger.

Orfelina is looking forward to resuming normal activities like going to the mall.

"Whenever I go out, I must be prepared with all kinds of batteries," said Torres.

An alarm goes off when power gets low.  She resisted getting the pump for months, but now feels very grateful.

Torres will still need regular check-ups at least once a week to make sure everything is working well.

In the meantime, doctors expect it won't be long before she's back on the transplant waiting list.