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Saint Clare’s Health in Collaboration with Abiomed, Inc. Honors Former Heart Failure Patient

The hospital’s cardiovascular clinical team reunited with Perry Sedlar

Denville, NJ (April 12, 2019) – Saint Clare’s Health in collaboration with Abiomed, Inc., recently hosted a Heart Recovery Reunion on April 8 to honor Perry Sedlar, a survivor of heart failure. Mr. Sedlar was treated at Saint Clare’s Health in December 2018 with Impella®, the world’s smallest heart pump.

Perry’s Story

Perry Sedlar travels to Dover once a month from his home in Michigan. He is on a project at the Picatinny Arsenal. Mr. Sedlar had been feeling under the weather since early November. He was treated with various forms of antibiotics by his primary care physician in Michigan but was not getting any better.

During the week of December 3, he was in Dover and “feeling horrible.” Shortly after midnight on December 5, 2018, he drove to the Dover ER and barely made it through the ER doors and passed out before he was able to give his name, insurance and description of the problem. As he remembers it, “At some point I was transferred to the hospital in Denville.” Perry’s family was contacted to obtain permission to perform necessary lifesaving procedures. Under the direction of Rhuna Shen, MD, board certified cardiologist, the Impella® pump was implanted for a few days and blood was drawn and sent to the lab, which determined that Mr. Sedlar had contracted mycoplasma bacterial pneumonia. This enabled the team at Saint Clare’s Health to administer the proper antibiotics. Mycoplasma bacterial pneumonia attacked his heart. “I had no chest/arm, neck pain – only shortness of breath so I had no idea how serious this was getting.” Said Perry, “I truly believe that the Impella® device and the correct antibiotics were the two things that saved my life. I profoundly thank you, and my family thanks you. Your hospital system made a huge positive impact on my family’s life.”

The good news is that he has had several tests done and it has been determined that his heart has made a remarkable recovery with no blockages. “My cardiologist in Michigan now agree with the doctors in the Denville hospital that the mycoplasma pneumonia was attacking my heart. Once the correct antibiotics destroyed the mycoplasma pneumonia my heart was able to slowly get back to normal functioning,” said Perry.

Within a month after being close to death he is now back to exercising and playing hockey as vigorously as he did before any of this happened. “Very remarkable,” he said. “I can’t thank you guys enough for saving my life. Without the professional people in your hospitals, I am certain I would have died.”

According to a recent Abiomed news release of April 4, the Impella heart pump had received FDA PMA approval for AMI cardiogenic shock only three years ago. Today, Impella heart pumps combined with the adoption of best practices, which include the use of the Impella pre-PCI have contributed to a significant increase in cardiogenic shock survival and native heart recovery.

The Impella heart pump is designed to provide minimally-invasive, temporary support to assist the pumping function of the heart, allowing it to rest and potentially recover. The Impella heart pump is the only therapy approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective for heart recovery in patients with advanced heart failure requiring Protected PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention), or patients in cardiogenic shock due to a heart attack. Technology like the Impella heart pump allows Saint Clare’s Health to provide more comprehensive and advanced care options to patients in Morris and Essex Counties suffering from heart failure or a heart attack complicated by cardiogenic shock.

Saint Clare’s Health’s advanced cardiovascular care treatments can treat high-risk patients like Perry Sedlar using the latest technology, including the Impella heart pump. More than 100,000 patients worldwide have benefited from Impella heart pump support. The Impella platform of products were developed by Abiomed Inc., based in Danvers, Massachusetts.

Dr. Rhuna Shen and Perry Sedlar address attendees at his reunion.

Perry Sedlar, white shirt, and Dr. Shen to his left, pose with the clinical team that saved his life.

Left to right standing back row is Jonathan Spain, Olabisi Aberdeen, Dr. Shen, (patient) Mr. Sedlar, Carrie Cifuentes, Jan Bednar, CNO , Andrea Lotosky, Director Nursing, Pat Kruse, Carlos Marconi, Director Cardiology, Brian Finestein, CEO, Nalini Thankachan.

Front row kneeling is Laura Ribnicky, Linda Michalowski, Marie Agnoli.