Houston – 3/4/2013
John P. Cooke, M.D., Ph.D., a renowned expert on the use of stem cells to repair blood vessels, has agreed to join The Methodist Hospital faculty as chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Regeneration at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center. He starts work July 1.
Two brothers with muscular dystrophy live with heart pumps that help keep them alive
Houston – 1/28/2013
Tyler Wertz, 18, and his 16-year old brother Austin Tucker, fight, tease, love and support each other like most brothers do. Unlike most brothers, however, they share the same uncertain future—both have heart assist devices keeping them alive while they struggle with a debilitating disease.
As young boys, Tyler and Austin were diagnosed with Becker's Muscular Dystrophy, a disease that slowly weakens the arms and legs and damages the heart.
"Sometimes I'll be walking and I'll fall down for no reason," Tyler said. "It can be scary and embarrassing, but it's just something I have to deal with."
In 2010, Tyler's heart condition became so grave that doctors at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center implanted a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), a battery-run device that assists the pumping of the heart, in an attempt to improve his quality of life. Austin received one in 2012.