CHICAGO -- Henry Garcia didn’t even know he’d had a heart attack when doctors diagnosed his massive heart failure and told him was a good candidate for a heart transplant and an LVAD.
In December 2014, surgeons at Northwestern implanted the LVAD, or Left Ventricular Assist Device, giving his weakened heart a must needed break.
Following surgery, he was thin and weak. It took months to get back on his feet and used to his new device but tickets to a Cubs game four months post-surgery got Henry out the door.
"As the weeks, months went by, I kept getting better and better and I remember they told me give it about three months and you should see some improvement. By then and they were right. I was noticing I was improving," he said.
It's no surprise it was the Cubs that motivated him. A fan since 10 years old, Henry says he has followed the team's every move since his first Wrigley experience in 1965. Over the years he’s ridden the Cubs highs and lows, and in 2003 even started to get a little skeptical..
"Even I started believing in the curse when I saw all that and I was like, 'aw man this team has got to be somehow cursed.' The only luck they have is bad luck," he said.
Clearly that has changed, and Henry hasn‘t missed a moment of the playoffs. As for his health, these days he’s feeling great. He exercises, goes to therapy and a support group. He’s on a transplant list waiting his big day, and until then, the Cubs are keeping his spirits high.
"Being in a good frame of mind, good exercise everyday, being home and enjoying life at home puts these patients in a good position for any sort of stress or major surgery like heart transplantation," said Northwestern heart surgeon Dr. Duc Thinh Pham.
He’s going to do even better when the Cubs win.
"I said, 'You know if the Cubs win the World Series, I betcha I wont need and LVAD anymore. You guys will be able to take it out and my heart will be back to normal,'" Henry said.