In the Customer Story segment we share the experiences and stories of our customers.
This blog is about Timo, a young S-ICD wearer who likes to play basketball and takes this sport very serious.
How long have you been a device carrier? What preceded it?
I have had my S-ICD since the end of March 2022. There is a hereditary gene in the family, which I also carry, which can cause a sudden cardiac arrhythmia. The S-ICD can recognize this cardiac arrhythmia and, in many cases, resolve it by delivering an electric shock. For this reason, the S-ICD was placed preventively, I had no heart complaints myself.
Based on a blood test, it was first determined whether I had the gene, after which I made the decision for the S-ICD myself. Of course, the wishes and advice of my parents were also taken into consideration. My father also has the gene, and also carries an S-ICD.
What was the period immediately after your operation like? Were you able to get back to basketball quickly?
Immediately after the operation I had a short rehabilitation period due to a collapsed lung, but otherwise there was little to no rehabilitation or anything like that. I was able to continue pretty quickly as I was used to, paying attention to how far I could go. After a month I had another exercise test to see how the S-ICD responded to exercise and fluctuations in the heart rate, after which I was given the green light to simply resume my sport.
I started again fairly quickly with half training sessions, but I only started playing matches again and started training fully after three months. This took some time because the operation and the collapsed lung both had quite an impact on my condition.
How did getting your S-ICD affect your life?
It had quite an impact. I was only 17 when I had the operation, and a collapsed lung on top of that. In the beginning I also had trouble accepting the ‘box’ in my body.
Now that we’ve been a while, not much has really changed, it doesn’t bother me much myself. People are still worried about me, sometimes I find this a bit annoying. In appearance, the S-ICD is quite well hidden under my arm and few people actually notice it. I myself don’t care much that the device is there, for example I’ve never been ashamed of it.
My physical fitness condition is now good again, although not yet at the level it was before the operation. The basketball itself is affected by having the S-ICD, in particular I just became a lot more careful than before. Especially when I just got the S-ICD and still had to get used to it.
We are of course speaking to you as a customer of Vital Beat. How did you find out about us?
Simply by searching the internet. We also encountered other companies, but these companies were much more expensive and mainly came from abroad. The hospital itself could not provide protection and was not familiar with your product.
What do you use the Vital Beat Protection for? Daily life, hobby, sport?
I mainly use my shirt and shield during sports, but also sometimes when I go to a festival, since there is always the possibility of getting a hit. Especially since I’m a bit taller than the rest of the people at such a festival, It happens more often to be accidentally elbowed by someone.
What advice would you like to give to other device carriers?
If you practice a contact sport, I would really recommend purchasing such a shirt. First of all, it works super well, you feel it much less when something hits you. Secondly, it immediately provides a safer feeling because you know that you are protected.