Doctor induces heart attack to save patient's life

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Imagine a doctor inducing a heart attack to save someone's life. That's what happened to Bobby Bridges, a man who is living proof that it was a good idea. (WLS)

Imagine a doctor inducing a heart attack to save someone's life. That's what happened to Bobby Bridges, a man who is living proof that it was a good idea.

Alcohol ablation was first introduced about 20 years ago, but doctors have refined it as a minimally-invasive procedure to fix a damaged heart.

After one year of recovery from a controlled heart attack, 67-year-old Bobby Bridges can do just about everything again including yard work, work as a police chaplain in Arlington, Texas, and preach at Mayfield Road Baptist Church.

"My heart stopped," said Bridges. "Evidently I rolled at about five miles an hour through two intersections, and then hit the curb and the jolt of hitting the curb brought me back to life, literally."

Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, a genetic disorder, was causing a thickness in the heart wall that was obstructing blood flow. The cardiologist performed an alcohol ablation, causing a controlled heart attack to kill part of the heart and reduce the obstruction.

"Oh yeah, when they induced that heart attack, yeah, heart attack hurts, I can tell you," said Bridges.

Immediately, with the obstruction gone, the blood flowed normally and Bridges returned to normal life, even preaching again. His recovery was faster than if he chose a surgical route.

"In appropriate patients, that are appropriately screened, it can be life changing as it was for Bobby," said Stuart Lander, MD.

"I'm a completely new person," Bridges said. "If there is any way to describe how I am today, I'm 30 years younger."

Hypertrophic obstructed cardiomyopathy is a genetic disorder that often goes undetected until the patient has a massive heart attack.

For more information on medical breakthroughs visit www.ivanhoe.com.
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