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News & Information

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery


New medical device gives heart a helping hand

Ed Jungbluth

"Night and day" is how Ed Jungbluth describes the difference that a new medical device has made in his health. The HeartMate 3, a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), was implanted in Ed's heart this past September to help it circulate blood more effectively. Dr. Joe Cleveland performed the operation.

The HeartMate 3, which is manufactured by Thoratec Corporation, offers a number of potentially significant advantages over its predecessor (the HeartMate II) and is currently being tested in a nationwide clinical trial. Dr. Cleveland is one of the principal investigators in the trial.

Ed is the first patient at University of Colorado Hospital to participate in the trial. For him, the HeartMate 3 has the potential to be a game-changer. Read more.

(November 2015)


Arizona woman saved by double-lung transplant

Lisa Messina with her husband and daughters

At the age of 34, Lisa Messina was running out of time. Cystic fibrosis had ravaged her lungs, and she found herself in end-stage lung disease, facing an average life expectancy of about 37. Her husband and two daughters were devastated as they watched her succumb to her illness.

Then came a call from the University of Colorado Hospital. A set of donor lungs had become available, paving the way for Lisa's best chance at survival: a double lung transplant. For the rest of the story, watch the video on the CBS-4 website. (A brief advertisement will play before the video.)

(March 2015)


Dr. Weyant leads lung team in Colorado's first
double-lung-and-liver transplant

Dr. Michael Weyant

On March 10, a team of surgeons from our department performed a complex operation on Shaun McCabe, a 30-year-old man from Nebraska who was dying from cystic fibrosis. Shaun received two new lungs and a new liver—the first such operation ever performed in the state of Colorado.

Dr. Michael Weyant headed the lung team for the operation, collaborating with Dr. Kam of the Transplant Division, who led the liver team. Watch the CBS-4 news story on our website.

(March 2015)


Healthy 35-year-old woman gets lifesaving transplant after her heart "explodes"

Becky Pomerleau with her husband Jeremy

Thirty-five-year-old Becky Pomerleau, a healthy athlete, never expected to have a heart attack. But on a ski trip to Breckenridge in the fall of 2014, she felt chest pains and tingling in her arm. Two days later, the symptoms returned, and her husband convinced her to seek treatment.

While Becky was being treated at a Denver-area hospital, the arteries in her heart exploded. She was airlifted to University of Colorado Hospital, where doctors determined that her only hope was to receive a new heart. A machine kept Becky alive for twelve days while she waited on the transplant list. Then she received the ultimate gift from a young woman in Kansas City.

For more of Becky's story, watch the video on the 9 News website.

(February 2015)