Thomas and his wife Doris were living in Georgia where he owned a successful business for 40 years. He decided to sell his business, retire and move to Ohio to be near family. Thomas was excited to start enjoying some of his favorite activities such as shooting and hunting. Unfortunately, his health took a turn for the worse and altered those plans. Thomas developed congestive heart failure (CHF) and atrial fibrillation. He received a Pacemaker and underwent an ablation for the atrial fibrillation. His CHF progressed rapidly and he found himself with less and less energy to do the things he loved. He was running out of gas quickly and needed a major intervention in order to live. His cardiologist informed him that he would not live another 5 months unless he proceeded with left ventricular assist device (LVAD) surgery. LVAD is an electrically charged pump, which helps the left ventricle pump blood to the rest of the body and is intended for patients who have reached end-stage heart disease. He decided to proceed with the LVAD operation and then began the process of learning about his new equipment and working slowly to regain his strength. He chose Summa Rehab Hospital for his inpatient rehabilitation. At Summa Rehab Hospital Thomas not only regained his physical strength, but states that the team helped him mentally adjust to living with his LVAD. Thomas said, “The emotional baggage of being told that you can no longer do certain things took a toll on me”. He said that the staff at Summa Rehab Hospital went above and beyond to; “make him realize that there were a million other things that he still COULD do”. Thomas completed his intensive therapy and returned home to his wife Doris in just a short amount of time. Thomas is now bowling weekly with his friends, mowing his lawn, and enjoys watching his grandchildren play softball and lacrosse. Most importantly, he will be taking his bride to a celebratory dinner for their 50th wedding anniversary together in May of 2019.

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