511 Tactical Holster Shirt

One of the first questions/challenges facing LVAD implant recipients, is how to comfortably carry around the battery packs and controller unit during the day, to allow as much mobility as possible. I have been told of several solutions, from Photographer/Hunter/Fishing vests with more than enough pockets to store all of the equipment and wallets, medicines, etc. The vests are fine in casual situations, but I have had more success with what is called a “Holster Shirt.”

These are shirts with built in holsters (primarily intended for use by law enforcement agents and people with carry and conceal permits) which would normally hold a firearm and ammunition.The holsters are actually the perfect size to carry our LVAD batteries. The material – a spandex-lycra blend also offers support and protection to the chest area (an area typically tender and weaker after an open chest procedure) which is very comforting to me.  They come in black and white and I now have a few of these shirts in rotation as an everyday shirt or undershirt.  It also looks very nice under a sweater or collared dress shirt if you need to dress more professionally.

The shirts I found are from www.511tactical.com, and are sold online on sites for sporting, hunting, and fishing stores: www.cabelas.com. You can also Google “Tactical Shirts” or “Holster Shirts”.  Also, a very valuable tip I learned from a fellow LVAD Warrior/Brother –  M. Josh Morris @LVADone is to put the batteries in the holsters “cap side” down to prevent them from sliding out and dropping. A valuable tip probably for both firearms and LVAD Batteries! :-)

Geared up!

For an even dressier solution (although I don’t own one yet) is a Bosco Vest (www.boscolvadvest.com) which is a custom made vest from the wife & caregiver of another fellow LVAD’er. These vests are so snazzy even former VP Dick Cheney was sporting one.  The vest has several custom packets and velcro straps to keep drivelines and battery wires from dangling loose.

What I don’t have any tips for, and will need the Ladies’ to help with, are what solutions are out there for women with LVAD’s? I believe there are also holster shirts as well, but I don’t know of the other clothing options. Please, please, please leave comments below and I will turn them into a future post! Guys are also welcome to offer other clothing solutions as well.  Thanks!

 

Comments
  1. Ginger Dover says:

    MY HUSBAND RECEIVED AN LVAD ABOUT 5 WEEKS AGO, WE ALSO HAVE A HARD TIME GETTING PHYSICALLY COMFORTABLE. THE BELLY STRAP, (MELVIN SAID HE NOW KNOWS HOW WE FEEL ABOUT WEARING A BRA), AND THE FANNY PACK STRAP WERE BOTH UNCOMFORTABLE FOR HIM. MY SOLUTION HAS BEEN TO TAKE TWO OF HIS FAVORITE SHORT SLEEVED T SHIRTS, ONE I USED TO CUT POCKETS FOR THE BATTERIES, AND A LOOP FOR THE CONTROLER WHICH I SEWED ON THE OTHER T SHIRT. THE BATTERY POCKETS ARE LOCATED UNDER HIS ARMS AND THE LOOP ON HIS RIGHT SIDE LOWER CHEST AREA. THIS CAN BE WORN AS IS AROUND THE HOUSE AND OUT HE WEARS A SHIRT OVER IT. MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE THAN THE REALLY TIGHT STRAPS ETC.
    ginnyd1125@aol.com

  2. Would like to see pictures of this. My husband has ordered one of the Bosco vest but says he feels like a pengiun in it. LOL. He would like to do away with the waist belt but we can’t figure out a solution to this. I can sew a little but might be able to get someone I know to make this if we had a picture or pattern.
    Thanks

    • Brent LeMay says:

      Hi Janice, I have a couple of solutions I designed for my lvad. Eventually I plan to sell them to make up some of the income I lost as I became unable to do my former job. If you email me direct I will send you some pictures and we can talk. Brent bllnaturalc@bloomer.net

  3. Kathie Decent says:

    I am making a tshirt for my brother to wear his batteries, but would like a picture if anyone has one. Thanks so much!

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