ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Joe Gdovin lives in Binghamton New York. He’s always been very active — training for marathons, hunting in Alaska, and mountain climbing. But in the 90s, doctors found a blood clot had lodged into his heart, causing a mild heart attack.
He underwent bypass surgery after finding more blockage, but it wasn’t enough. 17 years later, he suffered a massive heart attack and was sent to Rochester General Hospital (RGH) for treatment.
There, doctors helped save the life of one man who suffered a major heart attack by implanting a cardiac contractility modulation (CCM) device, an innovative piece of technology designed to help a failing heart.
RGH said they are the only place in upstate New York performing this kind of procedure.
The 78-year-old is now recovering, thanks to the CCM device that impacts the strength of heart muscle contractions rather than the rhythm, which is different than a pacemaker or defibrillator.
“I have congestive heart failure,” Gdovin said. “You live with it and you go on. The only fear I have is sitting around and feeling sorry for myself. “
He’s now learning to walk again, hitting the gym every week and exercising for two hours at a time. Gdovin said he is even building a house. He said he keeps a journal outlining his goals, which include getting back out west to ride a horse one last time.
Dr. Scott Feitell, the Director of Heart Failure at Rochester Regional Health, spoke with News 8 about this technology.
“We’re hopeful, over the years, as we get more data about this device, not only will it make patients feel better — which we know already that it does — but hopefully it will help them live longer,” Dr. Feitell said. “[Hopefully it means ] that Joe will be able to reach his 100th birthday still being able to hop on horses and hunting elk. “