Allie Martin

About Allie Martin

Video: New Device Improves Quality Of Life For Heart Patients

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NETTLETON, Miss. (WCBI) — A Northeast Mississippi business owner is back to an active life, months after having a major health scare. As WCBI’s Allie Martin reports, the Nettleton man is benefiting from new technology that lets doctors monitor his health as he goes through his daily routine.

It was one Sunday morning last summer when Billy Pender was getting ready for church and something wasn’t quite right.

“I just got to where I couldn’t get my breath,” Pender said.

The 67 year old went on to church and later that day went to urgent care, where doctors had him taken, by ambulance, to the North Mississippi Medical Center. All but one of the arteries supplying blood to his heart were blocked. He underwent a triple bypass and a month later was fitted with this device, called an ICD for short.

It’s new technology that lets doctors monitor both top and bottom chambers of the heart, with only one lead. It helps catch potential problems before they become real problems and it’s all done through this bedside device.

“We can download information at home that can tell us if he’s had fluid buildup on his lungs, having abnormal rhythms, can cause problems,” said Dr. Jim Stone, Pender’s cardiologist.

Dr. Stone also says the ICD, made by a German based company called Biotronik, represents a big improvement in patients’ quality of life.

After just eight weeks of rehab, Pender was returned to his auto parts store part time. Now he is back to a full schedule.

“I felt just as good as I could be, I couldn’t feel any better, since had surgery, I have done well,” Pender said.

Pender is also watching what he eats and exercising regularly.

“I walk a mile every morning, between 6 and 7, me and my wife both walk together,” he noted.

With a new lease on life, Pender hopes to continue those walks, and his work, for many years.

Doctors also say the ICD cuts down on health care costs, for the patient and insurance companies.