Lorraine | Claire | Donald | Eleanor | Mark | Margie | Juan
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“I’m now 89 and still have my limbs”
From Lorraine K. in Grand Forks, ND
Lorraine was diagnosed with severe PAD. For treatment, she at first received a calf-only pneumatic compression device from her hospital. After using this system for a week, she decided that the pressure was too weak and that she was unsatisfied.
Her doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, then prescribed our ArtAssist® device for Lorraine in 2002. She was told to use it 4-6 hours a day. Later that year, Lorraine purchased our pump and began to use it in early 2003. She noticed an immediate difference, saying that ACI Medical’s arterial pump “blew [the calf-only system] out of the water.” Since her purchasing of the ArtAssist® Arterial Pump, Lorraine has sent it back to ACI Medical only once for repairs and uses it faithfully for the prescribed amount of time each day.
Lorraine’s only suggestion for the ACI Medical team is to “get the word out” about the therapy that has helped her so much. Sometimes, we receive thank you letters from Lorraine. So, in that spirit, here is a letter she wrote to Don Kjartanson, our Director of Sales & Marketing:
I wish to thank you for all the good service you have given me, especially for the new blue cuffs, nice to have some color.
The Dr.’s of Rochester, MN have really been surprised to see how well I’ve been doing with my machine. That’s the only thing that keeps me going. I think I’m in the 11th year so am so happy to have found out about this machine. If anyone wants to write to me, I’ll be happy to hear.
Use my remarks as you wish.
And thanks so very much. I could not afford what you’ve given me.
Keep up the good work.
Since the above entry was based on a telephone conversation and a greeting card, the customer service team at ACI Medical has been reaching out to patients who wish to share their stories. Since Lorraine always has something to add, we invited her to send us all of her thoughts. Among all of our patients, she is certainly one of the most informed about the ArtAssist® device, as she has been using it for almost 12 years! I hope you enjoy her account of how she went from fearing for her limbs to leading a happy, functional life in her own home.
On ACI Medical’s customer service:
“To me it’s the very best, very good service. They have always treated me well, they take an interest in you.”
What would you say to a friend, who was looking for a non-surgical solution for PAD, about the ArtAssist® device?
“I would say, go for it you have nothing to lose but the pain, it may take a while to get results, so give it time.”
In March 28, 1996, I had a history of lower peripheral arterial occlusive disease, which had been long standing. I had a left femoral below the knee popliteal bypass graft, which failed in 1999. I had critical lower extremity occlusive disease and was referred for medical treatment. Dr. has been following me since 2000 for this problem. I had severe bilateral peripheral arterial occlusive disease, right 4th toe ulcer to ischemia, in heels then corroded briuts (?) hypertension. I used antifungal cream, I would get pain in calves & feet at a distance of walking across the room, both lower extremities are equally involved. I was using the ArtAssist pump 3 times a day, 90 minutes each hour, it’s remarkable after 11 to 12 years period of no limb loss has ensued. I maintain my activities of daily living and household duties. I have my own house. My son who is disabled lives with me, which is a big help. Dr. says given my age I am doing remarkable with my disease status. I’m now 89, and still have my limbs.
The ArtAssist compression pump is a therapeutic product, a powerful therapy for increasing blood flow with patients effects are for better than any other and without side effects, this has a unique form of pneumatic compression to the patients with diabetic foot ulcers, intermittent claudication, rest pain or non-surgical candidates, have seen positive results with this new technology.
The ArtAssist is very easy to use and very reliable. I look forward to using it, the compression cuffs are durable and designed to last for months of therapy. I am very lucky to have found something that has helped me so much, and I still have my limbs, the medical Dr.’s did all they could and after I got the ArtAssist device, which they didn’t seem to know anything about this machine, but they were happy for me and that I’m doing so well with it. I always use it 3 times a day. It’s the best. You will never find anything better.
The Gift of Limb Salvage
“Try it! What do you have to lose except your leg! It’s worth it and there’s absolutely no pain!’ – Claire T. from Tucson, AZ
Claire’s life as she knew it was about to take a turn for the worse, so when her doctors recommended she try ArtAssist®…the Arterial Assist Device®, she jumped at the chance.
Claire and her daughter co-wrote our staff a wonderful letter, chronicling her entire experience:
Dear Don and Sylvia,
I am helping to write this letter with my mom (Claire T. / Tucson, Arizona) to give you a little documentation how the ArtAssistDevice has helped to save her leg. Here is the time sequence:
My mom had a cadaver artery put in her right leg in order to possibly save her leg. (Advanced PAD disease). This was in March of 2011.
- In early August, the cadaver artery stopped working because the smaller arteries in my mom’s feet became too narrow. No more surgery could be done. She goes on Vicodin for the pain.
- Later part of August 2011, Dr. Luis L mentioned that if he could get the device, would she be willing to try it in order to save her leg. She said “YES!”
- Device arrives on September 6, 2011 and she immediately uses it for 1 hour /3 times a day / 7 days a week. A lot of pain in her right leg. She is sleeping very little because of pain by the end of the second week, there is remarkable improvement. She can walk without pain in her leg for short distances and sleeps for about 4 hours before the pain returns. By the first part of October, she starts to use the device for 4 times a day. We travel to Phoenix for her grandson’s wedding and she is able to attend! Pain in the leg has diminished quite a bit but there is still tingling in the foot and toes.
- By December, she gets off of pain pills and only takes Tylenol.
- By the first part of January, the tingling in her toes is gone. She drops the times using the device to 3 times a day.
- By February, she is walking for about ½ mile every day for about 20 minutes.
- In March, the Doppler from Dr. Michael L shows her blood flow in that leg has increased quite a bit. She cuts back on the number of times per day to 1 or 2.
- In late March, she develops a small but deep ulcer on her toe on her right foot. It becomes infected. (Sorry No Pictures. It was too small to show up on my camera) Dr. L is concerned that he might have to amputate it. He tells her to use the machine. She goes back to using it 1 hour 3 times per day. The toe within 2 weeks has improved dramatically so amputation is not discussed any more.
- In mid June, she has another Doppler. It shows more collaterals being made and something was said that an artery that was previously blocked is no longer and he could use it in a bypass if he had to! The ulcer still has a scab but no longer hurts her.
- She is currently using the machine for 1 hour/ 3 times per day. She is able to walk ½ mile daily with minimal pain. The pain comes in her calf but only lasts for 1 or 2 minutes and then she starts walking again.
- If it wasn’t for your machine, the doctors have said she would have lost her leg. We believe this. We have seen it. It is a wonderful gift.
Thank you also for the wonderful customer service. You were always such a big help.
Regaining Mobility is No Longer a Pipe Dream
From Donald S. in Ontario, Canada
My wife and I rented the [ArtAssist® device] in June 2004. Between the time that we agreed to the rental, and the machine arriving at our home, I was placed in the hospital and subsequently had an amputation of the fourth toe on my right foot.
My first thank you is to the folks [at ACI] for their kindness and understanding, in adjusting the rental period, allowing me to get out of the hospital before starting the clock. The second thank you is for the extra cuffs that were provided to us when the original ones failed. Although you might not like to hear about your product failing, I was more than satisfied with the action we received from ACI.
Now, lets get to the real reason for my letter. In 2001, my blood flow in my lower legs was 62 in both legs. In 2004, that number dropped to 22 and 21, left and right respectively. Dr. S (my family doctor) had read about this apparatus [the ArtAssist® device] and suggested that I try the one he had gotten on loan from you. I did and as I mentioned above, then rented the device for three months and then purchased the machine.
I have been using this machine now for just over 6 months and had a Doppler test done last week. The results of which were beyond amazing. The normal number for a reasonably healthy individual is a percentage of blood pressure readings and would be 96 in both legs. My left leg is now 95, and my right leg is 91. Dr. S was as impressed as we were. I can’t begin to express my thanks for all you’ve done for me. I expect to be walking a golf course again this year. ONE YEAR AGO, I THOUGHT THAT WAS A PIPE DREAM!!!!!
Thank you again for all you’ve done, and I hope this letter will help convince others to at least try to turn back time.
Don, Ontario Canada
Hope in the Face of Amputation
From Mary H. in Southgate, MI
Mary’s mother Eleanor had run out of options and was on her way toward amputation when doctors suggested the ArtAssist® device. Here is Mary’s letter to ACI Medical on behalf of her mother (identifying information has been omitted, but it is otherwise unabridged):
To Whom It May Concern:
A little over three months ago, my mother was an active and independent 83 year-old woman, who lived alone, drove a car and took walks around the block. She began to have a very cold foot, trouble walking and developed pain and ulcers on her left foot and ankle. (She experienced pain just putting a sock on her left foot). She became unable to take her walks, in fact, she would call us because she also experienced intermittent extreme pain and could not move from one room to the next without assistance.
She was diagnosed with peripheral vascular occlusive disease. Several tests and visits to specialists indicated my mother was not a candidate for bypass surgery. Amputation was discussed, which would have been necessary if she developed gangrene. In an effort to avoid amputation, the doctors suggested she take the prescriptions Plavex and Pletal and use the ARTERIAL ASSIST DEVICE.
My mother used the ARTERIAL ASSIST DEVICE along with the Plavex and Pletal for a three-month period. I am happy to report to you that my mother is again an active and independent 83 year-old woman who is taking walks around the block! Thank you to the inventors of the ARTERIAL ASSIST DEVICE!
I am writing this letter so that someone out there who may be as severe as my mother was would ask their doctor about trying this device in an effort to avoid amputation or surgery. Sometimes there is hope when you think hope doesn’t exist.
Mary H., Southgate, MI
Don’t wait around for insurance to save your leg!
From Mark H. in Brattle Boro, VT
Mark has been using the ArtAssist® device for almost 15 years! We are also glad to report that his device has saved his left leg from amputation not once, but twice.
Here is Mark’s letter to us:
Out of many therapies I tried to heal my ulcer, the ArtAssist device was clearly the most effective. Other treatments generally require a certain amount of circulation to the ulcer, while the ArtAssist device addresses the underlying problem by restoring the blood flow necessary for healing.
I quickly started renting the ArtAssist device and then worried about insurance. If I had waited for insurance approval, I’m convinced I would have lost my leg below the knee – a tremendous expense which they WOULD pay for!”
– Mark H., Brattle Boro, VT
A PAD patient with less pain
From Margie C. in Cowpens, SC
Margie tells us that when she had first received the ArtAssist® device from us at ACI Medical, her problems were pretty common for a patient with severe PAD (peripheral arterial disease):
[I had] leg pain when walking, leg cramps mostly at night, toe nails coming off and not growing back normally, swelling in feet and legs from poor circulation.
More recently, her testimonial tells us, since Margie has started to use the ArtAssist® device, we are glad to hear that she has gone from having rest pain and imminent tissue loss to being a claudicator.
I still have some pain when walking, the leg cramps seldom, toes are better, and bad swelling only when I overdo. I believe the [ArtAssist®] machine has kept me from worse and I will continue to use it.
Though her symptoms have not completely dissipated, we at ACI are relieved to have provided her with the means to get her out of the danger zone. Her advice to other PAD sufferers:
I would advise anyone with PAD to give it a try.
We at ACI Medical would like to thank Margie for sharing her experience, to let her know that we are, of course, here for her as her ArtAssist® device therapy continues and we wish her all the best.
An Alternative to Bypass
From Juan M. in Chula Vista, CA
To Juan and his family, finding an alternative solution to surgery was of great importance. The problem was, Juan was suffering from many severe symptoms due to poor circulation, including skin discoloration, constant pain and non-healing wounds.
[I had a] problem due to my diabetes. I had two ulcers: one on top of my toe and the other on my heel.
As terrible as his ailments were, we are glad to report that not only were Juan’s problems resolved, he also says he started to walk again. He also achieved his goal of avoiding bypass surgery.
[I used] ArtAssist for 3 hours per day for a couple months and it took my pain away and I started to walk. I am very happy with the results of using the ArtAssist. It helped me avoid surgery (bypass) and it improved my blood circulation to a point that my foot got back the color because it was looking dark – almost black – then, it helped with the pain. It was so bad that at night I wouldn’t sleep.
Share Your Story
Has ArtAssist® device therapy changed your or your loved one’s life? We would like to hear from you! To submit your testimonial, please call toll free (888) 453-4356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that ACI Medical respects patients’ privacy under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).