REYNOLDS DELGADO DOESN’T REMEMBER EXACTLY when the idea came to him. There was no eureka moment. But after working with thousands of heart-failure patients, watching most of them die, he knew there had to be a better way to treat more patients, earlier, to alleviate their suffering.
When your heart begins to fail, you might start to feel fatigued and weak, with swollen legs, an irregular heartbeat, and a cough that won’t go away—the result of your heart’s inability to pump enough blood and oxygen to your organs. Sometimes, the condition can be treated with medicine. But when it reaches an advanced stage, surgery is required, either for a heart transplant, or the implementation of a left-ventricular assist device, or LVAD.