Wearable Defibrillators

by Anthony Cabrera

The world's first wearable defibrillator is already saving lives.

83 year old Luis Valenzuela wouldn't be here if it weren't for the device, which he chose to wear while waiting for an implantable device.

"It was the first time that we've seen the device like that," Luis' son, Ricardo Valenzuela said. "And it looked very strange."

The vest is worn at all times and weighs 2½ pounds, but is worth its weight.

"I'd say it's like having a doctor 24 hours a day, wearing the vest," Luis' youngest son, Ramon Valenzuela said.

If a patient goes through a sudden cardiac arrest, it delivers a shock and restores the heart to a normal rhythm.

That's exactly what happened to Luis two months ago.

"It did its purpose. He had that massive heart attack on the 29th. It saved his life," Ramon said.

It has already saved 100 others across the Country.

"You need something like this to remind you that this is the right thing to do," said Dr. Darren Peress, the doctor who recommended the vest.

The Valenzuela family is recommending it to anyone at risk.

"I say wear it," Luis said. "It's a little heavy, but says what your heart is."

"We're very thankful for the doctors, the way they handled him and the decisions they made," Luis' daughter Leticia said. "And we have him here, that's what really counts now."