An image of a heart in front of a heart rate graph is shown.Helmut Hoffman slept 20 to 22 hours a day.

He often stayed in the car at his son’s games because it was too difficult for him to walk to the stands.

“I was just getting sicker and sicker,” Hoffman said. “We didn’t really know what was going on.”

His wife, Brigett, researched options for husband – looking for solutions in Cleveland, Ann Arbor and Chicago. Then she found Spectrum Health’s Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Program.

It was closer to home, in Grand Rapids, and had all the expertise and technology she knew her husband – who was in heart failure – needed.

In fact, Spectrum’s Advanced Heart Failure Program houses a multidisciplinary team of renowned international and U.S. physicians who deliver exceptional care.

From inpatient services that include family members in bedside decision-making sessions to complex heart and lung surgery consultation and transplants, Spectrum Health’s Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center offers life-saving options for patients near and far.

When the Hoffmans arrived at Spectrum, they were looking for options. They found them. Helmut underwent a four-hour surgery to have an artificial heart pump implanted. He came out of surgery just fine, and soon was able to participate in family life to a much larger degree.

“He has had a dramatic and wonderful outcome and recovery,” said Michael Dickinson, MD, Helmut’s cardiologist who specializes in advanced heart failure and transplants.

Helmut is one of many heart failure patients who found their heart care home at Spectrum.

Studies show that patients have better outcomes with access to highly experienced hospitals and specialists in a specific procedure, and in 2012, Spectrum achieved the distinction of having the highest number of open-heart surgery adult patients in the state.

The immediate results for Helmut were remarkable, noted his wife, Brigett.

“It’s definitely brought him back to life,” she said.

To view more patient stories on heart & vascular care, click here.