Living proof: The patient is the purpose
As we look toward Baylor’s future, we will never lose sight of our purpose – that the patient is the center of all of our efforts. Campaign 2015 is a testament to our patients and a commitment to the communities we serve. Through it, we believe we have the power to transform individual lives - lives like Ashley Reynolds’.
When she was 19, Ashley gave birth to her son, Raedyn, and was already dreaming about what it would be like to watch him grow up. But three weeks after Raedyn’s birth, Ashley’s immune system attacked her heart, and she was left to fight for her own survival.
Physicians at Baylor performed open-heart surgery and implanted a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) to help the left side of her heart pump blood. Ashley’s cardiologist knew this advanced technology was keeping her alive, but it was not a permanent solution. She needed a transplant and was put on the waiting list for a heart.
Yet, something extraordinary started happening a year after the LVAD had been in Ashley’s chest. Her physicians noticed that her heart was repairing itself. The medical team then started running tests to see how dependent her heart was on the device. By reducing the speed and flow of the pump incrementally, they reached the point where Ashley’s heart was pumping on its own. Eventually, the physicians were able to perform a second surgery to remove the LVAD.
“I was just amazed and at a loss for words,” said Ashley. “What do you say when you’re hoping and praying for a heart transplant and then you hear, ‘Oh, your heart is healed’?”
Now, Ashley’s physicians expect her to live longer than she would with either the device or a heart transplant. Ashley’s already started making a lifetime of memories with her son, who celebrated his second birthday earlier this year.
“I am unbelievably grateful for my physicians; they are angels to me and my family,” said Ashley. “They saved my life so I can be the best mom to my precious son.”