Drawing a Bigger Circle
Between getting her HeartMate in 2008 and meeting Huber and others in 2015, Rodriguez had never seen another LVAD recipient. That kind of isolating experience is just one of the many challenges of finding support for heart failure patients.
"Meeting Laura and her husband and Maddie, it was like, 'Oh, dear God, we are not alone in this world,' " Rodriguez said.
And maybe not everyone will end up hitting it off like Rodriguez and Huber did, traveling with their families to Disney World a year after they met. But both said they hope to meet and encourage more people who are going through what they did.
To expand a sisterhood into a circle of survivors.
"I met two brothers right here in New Jersey, in the next town, and they knew about me," Rodriguez said. "And they were like, 'You are the one!' "
One of the brothers showed Rodriguez the discreet bag that carries an external battery pack for the LVAD. Rodriguez remembered breaking into a smile. She has a bag, too.
"Those hugs, you feel in your heart. And I just told him, welcome to the family," she said.
"A week later, his brother got an LVAD, too — they were twins. And they said, 'Now we're a family of three!' "
Visit DoMoreForHeartFailure.com to learn more about heart failure and, if you are living with heart failure, how you can talk to someone like you.
These materials are not intended to replace your doctor's advice or information. For any questions or concerns you may have regarding the medical procedures, devices and/or your personal health, please discuss these with your physician.
This testimonial relays an account of an individual's response to the treatment. This patient's account is genuine, typical, and documented. However, it does not provide any indication, guide, warranty or guarantee as to the response other persons may have to the treatment. Responses to the treatment discussed can and do vary and are specific to the individual patient.