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Barbara Hanson – Entovis Pro MRI System Implant Success Story

Keeping up with your heart

Methodist Mansfield is the first hospital in North Texas to offer an MRI-safe pacemaker

Barbara Hanson has been teaching visually impaired students for 22 years, helping to address their special needs while inspiring their natural curiosity and joy of learning. At age 74, she’s as engaged as she was on her first day of teaching.

But recently, fatigue and vertigo nagged her.

“When I got up in the morning, I felt dizzy and had trouble keeping my balance and catching my breath,” Barbara says. “It was a struggle just to get out of bed. I was tired all the time.

“After a few months, I realized that this wasn’t going away and that it was preventing me from doing the things that I love.”

Barbara Hanson – Entovis Pro MRI System Implant Success Story
Now that her new pacemaker has stabilized her heartbeat, Barbara Hanson can enjoy her work teaching visually impaired students again.

A friend recommended that Barbara see Alan Taylor, MD, cardiologist on the medical staff at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.

Moving to a steady beat

After conducting a number of tests, Dr. Taylor diagnosed Barbara with a low resting heartbeat. A pacemaker would help to keep her heartbeat steady — and, in turn, help keep her steady on her feet.

Darien Bradford, MD, implanted the pacemaker on May 15, and Barbara was home within 24 hours.

“I can keep up with my grandchildren now, and I’m not worried about falling down,” she says. “I’m not going to miss a beat. And I won’t be called ‘weeble-wobble grandma’ anymore.”

Going strong for years to come

Also good news for Barbara is that she won’t have to worry about the pacemaker interfering with future medical care. Methodist Mansfield was the first hospital in North Texas to implant the new Entovis ProMRI® System, and Barbara was the lucky recipient. This pacemaker is proven safe for patients receiving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

“Many cardiology patients are at a higher risk for other vascular diseases, and they may need an MRI scan during their lifetime,” Dr. Taylor says. “For patients with pacemakers, this is problematic because the MRI equipment can damage traditional pacemakers. With this advanced pacemaker device, MRI is possible. It is a significant breakthrough.”

MRI scans serve as a primary diagnostic tool for many patients who have chronic atrial fibrillation or moderate to severe injuries, like hip fractures and head traumas. They are also used for patients who have had a stroke, lost consciousness, or fallen.

Since receiving her MRI-safe pacemaker, Barbara is once again on the go, enjoying long walks, water aerobics, and the quilting she missed so much.

“I’m back traveling from school to school teaching Braille, and I’ve visited my son and daughter-in-law in England,” Barbara says. “Nothing is stopping me now.”

From the winter 2014 issue of Shine magazine.