GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands, Sunday February 18, 2018 – An American citizen seeking medical treatment for heart failure has been successfully attended to by doctors at Health City Cayman Islands using a pioneering technique unavailable elsewhere in the region.
Thanks to the medical team at Health City Cayman Islands, Gerald “Gerry” Johnson now has a state-of-the-art implant that has given him a new lease on life, allowing him to pursue a more active lifestyle.
Johnson, who had exhausted the medical options available to him on the U.S. mainland, recounted how his cardiac failure was decreasing his quality of life and how American doctors could not do anything for him or his heart: “I’ve had five different heart doctors in Tennessee and in Kentucky and they all told me the same thing: ‘We can’t do anything more for you.’ So, that’s why we’re here.”
He explained that for the past year and a half he has been limited to the daily routine of watching television, eating and sleeping. “I just couldn’t do anything. My quality of life was just terrible,” said the Tennessee resident, who struggled with an irregular heartbeat and leaking heart valve.
According to Health City’s Interventional Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist Dr. Ravi Kishore, the Cardiac Contractility Modulation (CCM) device received by Johnson involves the implantation of two leads in the part of the heart called the septum. “We have to take a lot of diligence in positioning these leads in the right spots so that the patient can get the optimum benefit,” Dr. Kishore said. He further explained that CCM differs from a pacemaker in that it delivers non-excitatory entry impulses into the heart muscle, improving its ability to contract.
Gerry’s son Terry recalled how crestfallen he was witnessing his father’s health decline. “My father has heart failure and it’s kind of a downhill slide so you want to do everything you can to try to help him,” he noted, explaining that he previously had completed some procedures in the United States. “The CCM he had implanted is just in the trial phase (in the United States) so we can’t have that done unless we meet all the requirements for the trial and he does not meet those, so we had to look elsewhere around the world.”
Terry Johnson searched online and found a facility in Germany that might have helped, but further investigation led him to Health City Cayman Islands. “It is a whole lot closer and the weather is a lot better,” he remarked.
After the implantation of the CCM, he noticed the improvement of his father’s condition for which he thanked Health City. “He already has a pacemaker but they adjusted it …and then they adjusted his new device – his new CCM to work with him and with the existing biventricular pacemaker, so he’s tuned up (and) we look forward to improved health,” he said.
The younger Johnson endorsed Health City for its cardiac services, observing that Dr. Ravi Kishore has a wealth of knowledge. “He’ll work with you, he’s not in a hurry, he takes his time to do everything he can and do it right.”
Health City Cayman Islands is the only hospital in the region with the expertise and facilities required to carry out the new procedure, which is offered in Europe and is currently undergoing clinical trials in the United States. “We are the only center in (the) Caribbean, South America and Central America (doing this procedure) – so we hope that it’s going to be a nodal center for the implant of these devices for some time to come,” Dr. Kishore said.
With cardiac arrest being one of the biggest killers of Americans, Dr. Kishore expects more patients seeking device therapy, such as CCM implantations, will be attracted to Health City. “Heart failure patients are first managed medically. We start them on medications. When they don’t respond adequately to the medications, they have the persistent symptoms, they have shortness of breath, they have frequent hospital admissions (and) then we have to look at the next level of options. This is where the device therapy comes in.”
Gerry Johnson heartily concluded: “This is the place to go and have it done … I would recommend coming here any time.”