Complete Revascularization, Protected PCI

Patient Perspective: Mary Hanel Regains QOL after Complete Revascularization


Mary Hanel had her first heart attack in her forties and double bypass surgery could not restore her quality of life. After more than 30 years and a second heart attack, she underwent Protected PCI with the Impella CP® heart pump and achieved complete revascularization. “My whole quality of life is changed!”

Mary tells her story to Abiomed’s medical director Shon Chakrabarti, MD. Now in her eighties, she explains that she had been living with chest pain and discomfort walking since the 1980s. Because she was only 44 years old when her symptoms started, her doctors attributed her symptoms to acid reflux or COPD.

“On Thanksgiving night,” Mary tells Dr. Chakrabarti, “after working all week and running and baking and doing, I had an episode during the night, and it was heavy pressure on the chest and the left arm.” Her husband took her to the hospital, but because of her age they didn’t think it was anything serious. Fortunately, they kept her overnight, because she had another episode that night and doctors decided to do a catheterization. “When they did the catheterization,” she recalls, “they were really shocked to find out left and right coronary arteries were almost 96% blocked.”

Mary had a double bypass with sternotomy at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, a procedure she describes as painful, scary, and requiring a lot of rehab. While she recovered, she never regained her quality of life. “I exercised and I walked, but I always could never keep up with my husband... I had to keep stopping. I was not comfortable.”

Mary’s condition grew progressively worse. A few years ago, she was travelling with her family and could not keep up. They got her a wheelchair at Universal Studios, and she joked, “they were threatening to throw me into the shark tank!”

When she returned from her trip, she called her cardiologist. A catheterization revealed significant blockage and doctors recommended a repeat bypass; however, her cardiologist told her that entailed too much risk and said no. Instead, he changed her medication and she continued to lose weight, which helped, but not a lot.

Mary soon experienced a second heart attack. Her cardiologist determined she needed atherectomy and stenting but was unable to achieve results with a radial PCI procedure. That’s when Mary first heard about Impella®. The interventional cardiologist explained that her best chance was a high-risk PCI procedure with Impella support. She had never heard of the Impella, but quickly agreed to the procedure.

“So, I went in, and twenty people had to be in that room with me,” she recalls. “Four and a half hours I was on the table. And during the procedure, he kept saying, can you do this? Are you OK?” She told him to keep going and the procedure achieved complete revascularization. She went home the next day.

“I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, I haven’t felt this good in 30 to 40 years!... I love the outdoors. We live in the outdoors. I live in the Pocono mountains. And I love being outside and I love doing. My whole life is changed.” Mary explains that she can now keep up with her husband. “He calls me ‘the Energizer bunny’ now… It’s amazing! I have so much gratitude toward the people who made this Impella.”



View more resources