At age 60, David Townsend waited patiently, hopeful that a heart transplant would give him more time – quality time to share with his wife, his children, and the grandchildren who adore him. He spent several years in and out of Boston hospitals, sometimes for months at a time, due to the complications of heart disease and diabetes – each time beating the odds. David experienced at least one major episode of acute heart failure, but his neighbor, a Lowell firefighter, would not give up on him, immediately administering CPR and continuing until paramedics had arrived.
With the support of Home Health VNA, David was able to stay at home in the familiar surroundings of his neighborhood and the company of family and friends. His goal was to get strong enough so that, if a heart became available, he could endure the surgery, recuperate and return to the comfort of his own home soon after the transplant. Helping him achieve his goals every step of the way was a Hearts at Home clinical team from Home Health VNA. Hearts at Home is designed to provide patients with complex heart conditions, such as heart failure, with intense care oversight and monitoring. With the support of Hearts at Home, David managed a complicated and extensive prescription regimen comprised of 41 daily medications in addition to receiving care from various disciplines, including physical and occupational therapy, nursing and social work. He utilized telehealth monitoring to track his vital signs several times each day and communicate regularly with his health coach for medical and emotional support. With Hearts at Home, David was surrounded by a highly skilled care team that applied exceptional clinical judgment to identify and respond to any medical concern that required intervention from his physician or an immediate nursing visit. “Everyone from your agency is on the spot, working hard and keeping a close eye on all my complex symptoms,” said David. “They truly care about me, checking on me, sometimes multiple times a day. Because of this terrific team, I’m getting stronger every day.”
Over time, David regained his strength and was well prepared when he received the much-anticipated news that a suitable heart was available. He underwent a successful transplant operation and was eventually able to return home to recuperate and undergo therapy to help keep his new heart strong. With the expert care and support of Home Health VNA nurses and physical therapists, David has fully recovered and is, once again, able to enjoy those very special times with the family and friends he cherishes.