AMARILLO, TEXAS – February is Heart Month, and in this story we are hearing from a Texas mom and her doctor about how she miraculously survived a heart attack with the help of doctors and a device that is now keeping her alive.
In Amarillo Texas, thirty year-old Clorinda Godinez couldn’t be more happy with the hustle and bustle of her family of six. Looking back Clorinda says, “The way everything played out the day the heart attack happened It’s almost like I shouldn’t be here.”
The 30-year-old mother had just brought her newest baby home from the hospital after a healthy delivery. However eight days later Clorinda says she knew something wasn’t right. Turns out she was having a massive heart attack.
Looking back Clorinda says, “I didn’t go into the hospital knowing that I was going to pass away.”
Clorinda’s heart stopped and doctors had to use C-P-R for two hours to keep her alive. Dr. Amarinder Bindra performed open-heart surgery and implant a device called an LVAD, or left ventricular assist device. Dr. Bindra says, “She is literally a miracle, there is no other way to put it.”
An LVAD pumps blood through the body when the heart can’t. Clorinda was in a medically induced coma for three weeks. During that time the hospital staff arranged skin to skin bonding time sessions with her new daughter until she woke up.
Clorinda’s LVAD will stay in her damaged heart for the rest of her life and she will always have to wear a backpack that carries the external part of the device and it’s battery.
While Dr. Bindra admits the cause of Clorinda’s heart failure may never be known, it’s the life that lies ahead for her that matters most. Dr. Bindra says “The incidence (of this) is very, very rare. One in a million cases is what we understand but in her case she was the one in the millionth one.”
LVADs have been used for about ten years and are used in place of a heart transplant or to keep a patient alive until a heart transplant can happen.