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LivingBetter50: August 2018

Heart Health at 50: LifeVest gave me hope after heart failure

ZOLL LifeVest Patient Lisa SutherlandIn this article published by LivingBetter50, LifeVest patient, Lisa Sutherland provides a first-hand account of being diagnosed with heart failure just before her 50th birthday. Heart failure occurs when the heart is weakened and cannot pump enough blood to meet the body's needs for oxygen.

After learning from her doctor that her condition put her at risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), Lisa was prescribed the LifeVest wearable defibrillator for protection. SCA occurs when the heart’s electrical system fails, triggering a dangerously fast heartbeat. It occurs without warning, and without treatment, a person experiencing SCA is likely to die within minutes.

“This was a challenging time, but LifeVest gave me hope,” said Lisa. “I was still adjusting to my new reality, but LifeVest allowed me to go home and be with my family at a time when I needed them most. It provided some needed security and normalcy.”

Eight days later, Lisa was at home with her mother and son when she experienced sudden cardiac arrest, lost consciousness and collapsed to the floor. LifeVest detected the dangerous heartbeat and delivered a treatment shock that restored her normal heart rhythm and saved Lisa’s life. She regained consciousness immediately after the treatment and later received an implantable defibrillator for long-term protection from SCA.

Lisa and her family have a renewed appreciation for life and the precious time they spend together. She offers words of advice for heart patients.

“If your doctor asks you about LifeVest, say yes. And wear it every day,” said Lisa. “It can save your life... I chose to fight – and I’m living proof that it was worth it.”

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