After complications from bypass surgery landed him in a Boston hospital, a Connecticut man will be heading home to spend the holidays with his family.
Daniel Haaser says he can't wait to spend the holidays with his wife and two kids. The tight-knit family is from Germany, but they now live in Burlington, Connecticut.
"We go on water sporting vacations to the Caribbean between Christmas and New Year's," Haaser said Friday.
The family's normally exciting holiday plans looked less likely after he was taken to Brigham And Women's Hospital a week ago with a failing heart that left him near death.
"I started panting and trying to catch my breath and, you know, just begging for air," he said.
Bypass surgery back in September left Haaser with a leaking heart valve, which caused fluid to leak throughout his body.
"Despite heart surgery, his mitral valve was still leaking and because of that his heart failure was getting worse," said Dr. Akshay Desai, medical director of the Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure Program, Advanced Heart Disease Section at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Operating on Haaser's heart would have been too risky, so doctors chose a less invasive option called a MitraClip procedure.
"Passing a catheter through the leg up into the heart and through the mitral valve and where the mitral valve was leaking we were able to deploy some clips very much like a paperclip," Desai explained.
Desai said Haaser's heart was too weak for another open heart surgery, which is why the MitraClip procedure was so necessary and life-saving.
Haaser, who is a software engineer, has had enough experience volunteering as an emergency medical technician to know how high the stakes were.
"But I now know what the patients that I transport, what they feel, and will certainly use that to my patients' advantage," Haaser said.
Not only was the MitraClip procedure a success, but Haaser was well enough after the procedure to go home for the holidays and be with his family. He was discharged from Brigham and Women's Hospital at 2 p.m. Friday.
"For the first time in months, I feel as if I get my life back," he said.