This article is sponsored by UConn Health. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Connecticut’s editorial staff. To learn more about UConn Health, visit health.uconn.edu.
Not all heart problems come with warning signs. In fact, about half of the cases of unexpected cardiac death occur without prior symptoms. Had it not been for the team at UConn’s Calhoun Cardiology Center, Robert could have been one of them.
“I felt healthy,” Robert said. “I didn’t feel anything was wrong.” After going to a free UConn Health clinic, he was diagnosed with a weak heart muscle and a heart rhythm condition called left bundle branch block. Many people with bundle branch block don’t experience symptoms and don’t even know they have it.
Thankfully, Robert found himself in the expert hands of Dr. Christopher Pickett, co-director of UConn’s Heart Rhythm Program. As Connecticut’s only public academic medical center, the physicians and researchers at UConn Health work closely together to develop new therapies and approaches in both the prevention and treatment of heart and blood vessel diseases. This means that patients receive the advantages of the latest research and innovations in health care.
One of those innovations is a technology that facilitates the implantation of biventricular pacemakers and defibrillators. These devices are inserted into the patient’s heart and upper chest to provide a reliable heartbeat, and Robert’s condition made him a candidate for the device. His recovery was remarkable. Said Dr. Pickett, “Very quickly after the procedure, his heart went from squeezing at about half the normal efficiency of a heart to being essentially normal within a few months."