Virginia Man Finds Activities Restored with Unique New Stent
Dr. Bob Applegate (right) and Dr. Sanjay Gandhi (left) holding the tiny Absorb stent.
Thomas Leroy Walls, 63, didn’t realize retirement would
negatively affect his health. But after years of physically demanding masonry
work, his more sedentary life at home took its toll.
Not long after retirement Walls, of Independence, VA, gained
about 20 pounds. He often struggled to catch his breath and he couldn’t keep up
with his grandchildren.
“I’ve got custody of my three grandkids and I worried about
what would happen to them if something really bad happened to me,” said Walls.
His doctor told him to get a stress test – and not a moment
too soon. While taking the test, Walls passed out.
Severity of the Problem
The stress test revealed Walls had a clogged artery, a
condition that can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Walls was immediately taken by ambulance to Wake Forest
Baptist Medical Center, the first hospital in the region to offer a new kind of
stent to treat clogged arteries.
The Absorb GT1 Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold System is an
absorbable stent that dissolves within two to three years – after the artery
has repaired itself and is functioning properly again.
Dr. Sanjay Gandhi, interventional cardiologist at Wake
Forest Baptist, performed the minimally invasive surgery to place the stent in
Back Home and Getting
The day after surgery, Walls was back home and working to
improve his health by reevaluating his diet. He eliminated breads, pasta and
even sweets from his meals.
“I can’t tell that I had surgery except that now I can
breathe better,” he said. “I don’t get out of breath walking up the stairs
after feeding my dog.”
Today Walls is happy being able to take care of his
grandkids without pain or shortness of breath.
Learn more about
the Absorb stent.