In 2005, Michael began to exhibit difficulty breathing. After an extensive workup and an unsuccessful trial with C-Pap, he was provided with a chest cuirass. About one week later, he suffered a stroke to the brain stem which paralyzed his diaphragm. Mike was left no other option than a tracheotomy and a mechanical ventilator.
Michael was evaluated for an Avery Diaphragm Pacemaker at the Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. After some preoperative testing to ensure his phrenic nerves were intact, he was implanted and began pacing in January 2006.
He has undergone extensive physical therapy, and “can now walk, talk, eat, and drink all on my own with very little help.” He still uses his ventilator at night and occasionally when under the weather, “but it sure beats being hooked to that thing 24/7.”
He states “Thanks to the [Avery] breathing pacemaker system, I have been given an extension on my life. I am embracing that extension with happiness and joy and a lot of love! I am looking forward to celebrating my 10th year on the phrenic pacers and look forward to a trip to New York to visit you all and thank you personally for giving me the gift of life you have. You do not know how much I so much appreciate Avery Biomedical and look forward to meeting you and letting you see how well I do since you gave me the extension of my life in January 2006.”