Meadville Tribune

Our Health

November 13, 2013

Man on road to recovery after receiving new heart

WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP — Some say there are people who “wear their hearts on their sleeves,” meaning anyone can tell how happy they are or how much in love they are.

Jeff Carpenter for the past couple of months had worn his heart around his waist — a portable heart pump that kept his blood circulating, performing a function that his heart could no longer perform.

Early Monday morning, Carpenter received a new heart, which was placed in his body where his old “achy breaky heart” — his sister-in-law, Tammy Palmer’s, words — had been removed.

By noon Monday, Carpenter’s new heart was functioning well and he appears to be on the road to recovery. A transplant patient at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Carpenter received the heart of a man who died in his 40s. The man’s family donated his heart and several other organs, resulting in at least four people getting a new lease on life.

The road to a heart transplant was not an easy one for Carpenter and his wife, Debbie. On Aug. 12, his heart stopped because of low potassium in his blood stream and he went into cardiac arrest. He had been on medication for bloating from water retention and he lost 30 pounds in three days — which resulted in the low potassium in his blood stream. It put him into cardiac arrest at home, where his wife found him on the sofa.

After being taken to Meadville Medical Center, Carpenter was life flighted to Presbyterian Hospital where he received care while waiting for a heart transplant. When he was discharged from the hospital, Carpenter was hooked up to the portable heart.

“If I turn it off, I die,” Carpenter said about a week before he got the heart transplant.

Carpenter’s family has a history of heart problems. His was caused by a lack of certain chemicals in his body.

He suffered his first heart attack on Aug. 1, 2007, and from then until this past October, he had four major heart attacks, three stents put in, four heart cauterizations, and a defibrillator was inserted in 2010. The defibrillator fired twice — once shocking him 20 times and the second time, shocking him 17 times. A defibrillator/pacemaker was inserted on Sept. 9, 2011.

Carpenter also had a liver treatment with Dr. Paul Piersel — necessary because of liver damage from taking the drug Crestor from January to July 2012.

Text Only
Our Health
  • Don't let a desk job negatively impact your health

    If you’re female, you might want to consider a more physically active career to avoid a variety of cancers.

    July 21, 2014

  • Study focuses on cancer in those who apply pesticides

    This year marks the end of the Agricultural Health Study, a 20-year study of the effects of pesticides on farm workers and their families. Although the study focused on Iowa and North Carolina, there are still some elements that are important for Pennsylvania farmers as well as anyone who handles chemical compounds.

    June 30, 2014

  • Learn to swim and keep drowning at bay

    When you and your family hit the pool or the beach this summer, you need to be aware of a phenomenon known as secondary drowning, or dry drowning.

    June 16, 2014

  • ‘Planting’ the seeds of a better diet this summer

    Summertime is a great time to make improvements to your diet and lifestyle. Despite the conflicting “advice” you may get about diet when reading the popular press (not to mention all of the “food rules”), adding more plants to your diet is always a good idea.

    June 9, 2014

  • Is the idea of drinkable sunscreen worth swallowing?

    Tired of greasy, sticky hands after applying sunscreen? Even the spray-on sunscreens leave you inhaling fumes that you shouldn’t breathe. Well, enter a new era of skincare products: drinkable sunscreen.

    June 3, 2014

  • Survivor stories: Beating cancer with faith and family love

    I recently talked with Rebecca Arbuckle of Meadville to discuss her journey with breast cancer and how she was able to beat it with faith, strength and the love of her family. Although our conversation was upbeat and filled with confidence, there were times that emotion broke through, as it should, for having faced such a battle and won. I am in awe of the people I have had the chance to interview and am honored to share their stories.

    May 27, 2014

  • Uncovering the simple fix to the 'super bug'

    The World Health Organization has identified a serious threat to human health around the globe. Known as a “superbug,” this antimicrobial resistant bacterial infection has been coined “AMR” (Antimicrobial Resistance).

    May 19, 2014

  • Get educated about high blood pressure and eating better

    May is High Blood Pressure Education Month, and one in three Americans have it. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading risk factor for stroke. Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” since you may feel no apparent symptoms. Yet, high blood pressure will cause damage to the blood vessels, brain and heart over time.

    May 13, 2014

  • Researchers: colon cleansing health benefits a myth

    Researchers have found that while colon cleansing has been around since ancient times, the health benefits are basically a myth.

    May 5, 2014

  • Prescription for Medical Nutrition Therapy

    Nutrition is a vital part of being well, and an even more important part to getting well (or healing). It’s a critical part of prevention, yet if I surveyed physicians or lay people, and asked them “Does diet therapy work?” chances are at least 70 percent of them would say “No.”

    April 21, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks