My Name is Berth Dereither, I'm 18 years old and I live in the Netherlands. I have heart failure and I'm living with an LVAD right now.
3 years ago I was feeling very tired and I had a lot of stomach pain. I went to the local hospital. They didn't know what was wrong and they thought it was nothing. I stayed there for few days. After those days, my fingers turned black. So then they rushed me to a bigger hospital. They just did everything to know what was wrong with me. They knew there where something wrong with my heart, so they transported me to another hospital. When I woke up I didn't remember anything. It was very blurry actually in the first time. After a while, they told me I had a really... I had heart failure and I had a heart operation and now I have an LVAD.
That device supports my heart. It pumps the blood through my body. I had really no idea it was something that serious. After the implant, I had to learn a lot about the LVAD, how it work. I only have to change the batteries and I have to know what the alarms are. So when I have to change the batteries it's just "click click". The batteries last for the entire day and I have a spare set in my bag with me all the time. My life improved a lot and there aren't many things I can't do right now.
I can do a lot of stuff, like go for a walk with my dog. I love the photography. I go to school. I love doing things with my girlfriend and meeting my friends.
When I go back from my check-up, it's very short actually. They have to check my blood pressure and my device and stuff like that and when I'm ready I travel home again by train.
The first in the future will be that I need to have a donor heart and then my hopes are that the technology will go forward and there will be ... LVAD will be totally implantable and permanently.
If there wouldn't be an LVAD I'd had to wait at the hospital for a very long time. Maybe I wouldn't even made it and I would be dead right now.
So the LVAD is a fantastic device. If you have the opportunity to have it and you need it, then I would totally recommend it to you.