Posts Tagged ‘Dick Cheney’

Christopher Gabriel, his wife and family have been great friends of ours over the years, His talent for Acting and Storytelling are brought to bear perfectly in the “Theater of the Mind” known as broadcast radio.  I was honored to be asked about and to share my current phase of life with Heart Issues and a Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD). You can click HERE to listen to the interview. 

Here is a bit more about Christopher from his site:

Christopher Gabriel is the host of The Christopher Gabriel Program on AM 970 WDAY in Fargo, North Dakota and around the world online at You can listen to him weekdays from 11 am to 2 pm CT. His program serves up a unique blend of current events, pop culture, sports and humor with guests and contributors from across the nation. As a writer and humorist, Christopher’s work has been published by the Chicago Sun-Times, Reuters, publications within Sun-Times Media, USA Volleyball and Team USA, the Official Website of the U.S. Olympic Committee. He’s also been a weekly columnist in Fargo’s daily newspaper, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead



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, and are sold online on sites for sporting, hunting, and fishing stores: 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 ( 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!


Reprinted with the permission of Thoratec Corporation

On October 7th of 2011, I joined a quickly growing segment of incredible people that are living with an LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device). It is a tight knit and extremely supportive community that has quickly made friends and family of complete strangers. Mine is the HeartMate II built by the Thoratec Corporation ( Here is a bit about the LVAD directly from their site:

The HeartMate II is one of the most advanced devices to treat advanced heart failure available today. The first device of its kind to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for advanced heart failure, the HeartMate II has already provided thousands of people with new hope and improved health, allowing them to reclaim their lives.

The HeartMate II is a heart pump called an LVAD (short for Left Ventricular Assist Device). An LVAD is designed to help the left side of your heart pump the blood your body needs. It does not replace your heart. In most cases with a HeartMate II* LVAD, advanced heart failure patients can experience a dramatic improvement in their heart failure symptoms. With oxygen-rich blood flowing throughout the body, most people say they feel better and have more energy. Most HeartMate II patients also experience an improved quality of life. They can once again enjoy their favorite activities, such as travel, golf, visiting family members, dancing and playing an instrument.

From their link:

Here is also more really good information about it:

Probably the highest profile of someone with an LVAD, someone that has been covered the most by the media, is Former Vice President Dick Cheney. No matter what you may think about his politics and service, he has really started to shed light on a medical device that is dramatically improving the lives of people with Congestive Heart Failure, like me.

Due to the fact that this is fairly cutting edge medical therapy, most of the information that is available for people going through this, is still being written, and most of it is being written by the LVAD community of people living with the devices and their caregivers.

Here are some resources you should check into if you are looking for advice, information, or support for yourself or someone you know, that may be headed on this path:

Community Pages:

Facebook Groups – Search for:

LVAD Friends

LVAD Warriors

LVAD Nation

There will be a weekly “Tweetchat” on Wednesday & Sunday nights.  You can follow it by searching the following keyword: #LVAD