April Patient of the Month: Joey Leger

April 24, 2013
Joey Leger

One morning in 2006, Joey awoke experiencing congestion and heaviness in his chest.

Assuming he had the flu or a cold, he waited a couple days before visiting his doctor after he was able to find relief with a hot shower and rest. At the doctor’s office, Joey’s blood work revealed a white blood cell count that was off the charts, so he was encouraged to go to the hospital, as meningitis was going around a local university at the same time.

Soon after, an EKG had shocking results—Joey was suffering a massive heart attack. He was rushed to surgery, where doctors discovered 100% blockage of the artery often called the widow maker. Fortunately, they were able to place a stent, and a defibrillator was implanted later that year. In 2011, tests showed his stent was occluded, and open heart surgery wasn’t an option because of the scar tissue left behind from his previous surgery. Doctors said there was nothing they can do.

Thankfully, Joey refused to give up. He’s now in the process of evaluation and consideration for a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which would literally act as a mechanical heart to keep his heart functioning. While he is hopeful for this opportunity, he can’t help but worry about his health and the future. More than anything, he simply wants to be healthy enough to spend more time with his loved ones and once again enjoy time outdoors. But right now, he needs your help.

To read more about Joey or to make a donation in his honor, visit his personal fundraising page.