Tony Martin's Story

Tony MartinTony Martin is an active outdoorsman, but if you had asked him how much hunting and fishing he was doing two years ago, he would have told you his congestive heart failure made it nearly impossible to do any.

But after a surgeon at Medical City implanted a Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD) in 2011, it's a different story for Tony. "It's been absolutely wonderful. It's restored me to a normal life while waiting for the [heart] transplant," he said.

Tony, now 62, first had bypass surgery in 1987 and then in 2003 he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He eventually had a pacemaker/defibrillator implanted. In 2007, his defibrillator went off occasionally. Many describe this feeling as similar to being kicked by a horse.

Tony said his cardiologist didn't take it too seriously until he went into a cardiac storm in 2011, setting off the defibrillator 20 times. "I've been kicked by a horse several times, and I'd much rather be kicked by a horse," he said.

Tony was quickly running out of options until he came to Medical City where Dr. T. Dewey implanted a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), the Thoratec HeartMate II, while he waits for a heart transplant.

"Before the LVAD, I ran out of options. I had accepted limited mobility as normal and kept readapting to a lower level of activity," Tony said explaining life before the implantation.

Tony, who's married with two children, three grandchildren and one teenage stepdaughter, credits the high level of care, experience and professionalism at Medical City to getting him back on his feet.

"I'm doing things I never thought I'd be able to do: walking, getting around with the kids. The energy level is amazing," he said.