The 68-year-old former Pittsburgh Police officer suffered from congestive heart failure and had a series of cardiac episodes in 2011. He said his cardiologist told him he was a candidate for a heart pump or transplant, which often result in patients carrying assistive devices during long recoveries. When he found out he could also be considered for a clinical trial of the parachute, he opted for that instead.
“This parachute is just a small device that is inserted into your heart that takes place of the dead part and lets the blood come in and go back out, and it’s supposed to work better than a heart pump,” Foltyn said. “So, I said, ‘Well geez, that’s a lot better than having tubes in your side and having to carry a device around.’”
“They still require lifetime management, follow-up (and) tweaking of medications,” he said.