Man's life saved by 'Life Vest' issued by Palestine cardiologist

Published: Aug. 25, 2015 at 10:15 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2015 at 10:38 PM CDT
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Life Vest saved Palestine man's life during a heart attack. (Source: KLTV Staff)
Life Vest saved Palestine man's life during a heart attack. (Source: KLTV Staff)

PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - It's a new medical advancement, right here in East Texas, that saved the life of man who had had no idea he was dying.

It's called the Life Vest and it's changing the outcome for people at risk of sudden heart attacks.

"One night, I woke up with hurting in my arm," said 83-year-old Charles Allen.

Charles Allen suffered a heart attack he didn't even know he had.

"I thought I had arthritis maybe," said Allen.

Allen underwent a surgery, receiving stents in his heart, but what happened next would save his life. He received a Life Vest.

"I didn't really know what all it would do," said Allen.

The vest is worn on a patient's skin, carefully tracking each and every heart beat, and it packs a punch when needed.

"You will see in movies and shows where we put the paddles on the patient and we shock them," said Dr. Gaurav Aggarwala. "It's pretty much the same thing."

Aggarwala says this vest is like wearing your own personal paramedic.

"The last three and a half years we've put a lot of Life Vests...I think we have some 20 life vests out there right now floating, but this is the first life saved in Palestine, Texas," said Aggarwala.

That was a life-saving moment Allen's wife Catherina says she will never forget.

"It panicked me because I started to wake him up and he didn't wake up," said Catherina Allen. "He was gone."

Catherina rushed to call 911, but only seconds passed before her tears of sadness turned to tears of joy.

"Meanwhile, I went back in the bedroom and he was sitting up and the machine was saying, the treatment has been completed, call your physician," said Catherina.

The vest that was designed to prevent the worst possible outcome had done just that for Charles Allen.

"Now I'm on a crusade to get every cardiologist to use that vest," said Allen. "It saved my life."

Allen says he feels his health becoming better every day. He was even given the okay today to start exercising again.

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