Mark Padley (pictured above) spent years as a firefighter, putting his life on the line to save others from fires. However, in 2011, he noticed a decline in his physical abilities. Carrying heavy equipment and patients became increasingly difficult. He also noticed that he was gaining weight.
Concerned about his health, Mark sought medical attention and was referred to a cardiologist, Ameer Kabour, MD. It was during this visit that a blockage in his heart was discovered.
To help restore blood flow to his heart, Mark underwent a procedure to receive four stents in his blocked artery. In addition to this, he also received a pacemaker and an automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator (AICD).
An AICD is a device similar to a pacemaker, but it can also shock the heart if it detects a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm. This type of device is often recommended for patients with heart rhythm disorders or those who are at sudden risk of cardiac arrest.
Despite the initial procedures to improve his heart health, Mark’s condition continued to deteriorate over the next few years. He began experiencing shortness of breath during physical activities and abnormal heart rhythms. Eventually, Mark made the difficult decision to take early retirement in 2016 due to his declining health.
Mark’s journey to recovery continued as he worked with our cardiac rehabilitation team. During this time, they discovered even more health issues affecting his daily life. Mark found himself unable to enjoy hikes in the woods with his grandchildren and even gave up playing the trumpet, a passion of his. Even simple tasks like walking to his mailbox became increasingly difficult for Mark.
“My mailbox is about 350 feet down a stone driveway, which is about a football field away,” Mark shares. “I was unable to pull the trash bin out to the road without taking several stops to rest.”
Despite all these setbacks, Mark never gave up hope.
He continued with his cardiac rehabilitation program and other exercises as best as he could. Over the course of a few years, Mark lost an impressive 50 pounds. Yet, his heart was still struggling to pump blood effectively.
In March of 2022, Mark’s fortune began to turn around. He received a cardiac contractility modulation (CCM) therapy device. This small device is implanted in the chest, and it uses electrical impulses to help the heart pump blood more effectively, giving Mark a much-needed boost to his health. Although he was understandably nervous about the procedure, he knew it was his best chance to improve his health and quality of life.
Mark’s recovery following the CCM procedure was nothing short of remarkable.
“A few days after surgery, I was able to walk down my driveway, and a week later, I was able to pull the trash bins out to the road without stopping,” Mark shares. “I even helped my son add on a porch, and I’m currently replacing the walls of my own porch. I was also able to go back to playing the trumpet – as a matter of fact, I’m playing in the pit orchestra for Genoa High School’s musical.”
Mark is thrilled with the results of his CCM device, and he’s grateful for the team of medical professionals who helped him along the way. He hopes his story will inspire others struggling with heart disease to never give up hope and always keep fighting for their health.
Learn more about the heart and vascular care we provide at Mercy Health.