When Lance’s heart began to fail due to dilated cardiomyopathy, his doctors knew they’d have to act fast to save his life. Watch the video for his full, inspiring story.
Until 2012, everything in Lance’s life was going according to plan — an athlete, successful pharmaceutical salesman and father of two, it seemed like nothing could slow him down. But one day, during a routine checkup, his doctor noticed some irregularities in his heartbeat. He referred Lance to a cardiologist, who told him he needed a pacemaker.
For about a year, everything seemed to go back to normal, but in 2013, Lance lost consciousness in the waiting room of his physician’s office and was rushed to a Cedars-Sinai affiliate.
Doctors discovered that Lance’s ejection fraction — the percentage of blood pumped out of the heart with each contraction — was less than 10%. A normal ejection fraction is about 55%. Lance was diagnosed with congestive heart failure caused by dilated cardiomyopathy — and his condition was deteriorating rapidly.
Because both sides of Lance’s heart were failing (biventricular failure), a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) wasn’t an option, as it only supports the left side of the heart. His doctors at Cedars-Sinai’s Smidt Heart Institute decided to implant the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH), which replaces both the left and right ventricles of the heart, to bridge him to a heart transplant. Watch the video below for Lance’s full, inspiring story.