An outpatient treatment at Avera Sacred Heart hospital in Yankton is helping some heart patients get their energy back. Nancy Naeve Brown met one of those patients from Atkinson, Nebraska who at 86 is still active and alert thanks to a special machine and the special staff.
Cardiopulmonary specialists Lisa Miller and Emily Hammit strap in Ted Manzer's legs to some specialized blood pressure-like cuffs that are part of EECP or Enhanced External Counterpulsation therapy.
Lisa Miller says, "We put leads on that monitors the heart beat so when the cuffs squeeze the hearts at rest and pumps blood up to the heart so you get more blood to the heart right before the heart beats again. The cuffs let out pressure so it helps the heart pump more blood out so you get more blood to the heart."
In 2004 Avera Sacred Heart hospital started using this outpatient treatment for patients with angina, heart failure or who are no longer candidates for heart surgery. Ted at 86 fits in to a lot of those categories. He had a heart attack followed by quintuple bypass surgery in 1999. In 2008, Ted went through 35 sessions of EECP therapy an hour a day 5 days a week for 7 weeks.
Ted says, "I discovered later that I probably had the finest of people administering it as you could find."
Ted says it looks worse than it feels and he feels a lot better now that his circulation is better.
Ted says, "I am a gunsmith as a hobby. I build center fire rifles and I could continue doing that. I could do physical things that I may not have been able to had I not done this treatment."
Ted's granddaughter told me she's noticed a huge change in his color, energy, even attitude
Ted says, "If you are around people that are trying to help you and they did help me, you grow very fond of them."
And this man is fond of these women and the improvement they made to his health and the care they brought to his life.
Even with a pacemaker the EECP therapy was safe for Ted. Not everyone is a candidate for this type of treatment. It's always best to talk to your doctor.