I was blessed on my heart transplant journey by not having LVAD, BiVAD, or CardioWest surgery before my transplant. At one point, when I was at my worst, the doctors had told my wife that I needed to go on “Big Blue” (CardioWest, full artificial heart) immediately. She had signed the surgery consent forms and while they were waiting on an OR to open up, I was truly blessed as a heart became available.

Since I started volunteering, I’m seeing an increasing stream of people who are having to have these very difficult surgeries first. From my vantage point, these surgeries really kick the patient’s a$$. But, I also have noted that these patients seem to rebound faster after being transplanted.  Faster than those of us that “only” go the transplant route. (Edit- LVAD patients that have had time to recover and regain their strength seem to rebound faster in the opinion of the writer) 

The LVAD (Left Ventricle Assist Device) seems to be the most common of the pumps that are being used. The wife of a transplant friend of mine, that had LVAD surgery, made him a nice denim vest to carry the battery packs and all of the other things required to keep the pump running.  The vest was a huge hit and many other patients started to request them, so she started a small company making custom fitted LVAD vests.

If you are interested, see the brochure below and/or visit her web site at

About DAP

I am a heart transplant recipient and these are my stories and thoughts. My desire is to assist others pre or post heart transplant in anyway possible. Please feel free to contact me if you have a question.
This entry was posted in General, Heart Transplant and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to LVAD Vest

  1. Sarah says:

    I had one of the old school external bi-VADs. I’m still working on the words to describe that experience – it was like nothing else.

    I’m not sure that it made my rebound any faster. During the time I had the VAD, I only walked three times. I was still in for three weeks post-transplant – I was weak as a newborn kitten and could barely walk.

    However, the VAD did save my life. Big time. Bless whoever invented that contraption and the surgeon that put it there.

  2. my2ndheartbeat says:

    Sarah, I agree with you and made an edit to my post. I should have clarified that my observation was based on patients that had time(months) to recover and regain their strength. Folks that remain in the hospital on any type of “bridge” device can have a difficult time, post transplant. I had a fairly difficult time recovering without a bridge.

    Be well and God Bless.

  3. Pingback: LVAD Shirt | My2ndHeartBeat

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