michael-crawford-imageMichael Crawford is grateful to be alive after surviving a heart attack in 2009 and receiving care at the Spectrum Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center.

He has resumed his busy life as a bass player with the Grand Rapids Symphony and West Michigan Symphony in Muskegon, and as an instructor of music appreciation at Grand Rapids Community College. But one of his greatest priorities is avoiding another heart attack.

As part of his ongoing care at Spectrum Health, Michael participated in a national research study that investigated the effectiveness of an implantable cardiac monitor and alert system. He still benefits from having this device, and he has peace of mind knowing it will continue to alert him to any change in his heart’s function.

“I am very blessed that Spectrum Health has these capabilities in heart care and that the device was being evaluated here,” Michael said. “The amount of research going on here is amazing, and I’m fortunate that this cutting-edge technology was available to me. This device is like having a guardian angel on my shoulder that tells me when something is not quite right.”

Recently, Michael was finishing a bass solo during a concert when the silent alert told him something was wrong. Michael left the stage and was transported to the Spectrum Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center. His heart rate had spiked during the concert, but fortunately the change could be treated with medication.

“I know there are things I need to do to avoid having another heart attack, said Michael, “like eating right and exercising more, but it’s great to know I have this device helping me too.”