Oklahoma Teen with CHB Undergoes HBP

Seven years ago, when Hunter Parrick was 10 years old, he went for what could’ve been a routine ear surgery. However, during the surgery, doctors found out that Hunter was born with a complete congenital heart block (CHB). A pacemaker is, typically, the most common treatment for patients with CHB. At Hunter’s age, doctors wanted to wait to put in a pacemaker until he was older. According to News on 6, he received a pacemaker in 2019, beginning his difficult journey of pacemaker failures. But thanks to a relatively new surgical procedure called his-bundle pacing (HBP), this Oklahoma teenager is now en route to better health.

His-Bundle Pacing (HBP)

Although first described in 1970, the first placement of the His-Purkinje system was not performed until 2000. According to Touch Cardio, HBP:

has the advantage of avoiding the electrical (and thereby mechanical) dyssynchrony induced by myocardial pacing by recruiting the intrinsic conduction tissue to activate the ventricles. Furthermore…pacing of the His bundle can correct bundle branch block (BBB) [and] may therefore also be used in lieu of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Due to difficulties in implementation, HBP has not been widely adopted until the past few years. However, with new advances, it could provide immense benefits to patients with CHB and other heart-related problems.

Hunter’s Story

Eight months after his pacemaker was placed in 2019, in early 2020, Hunter suddenly experienced chest pain. While the pain began somewhat small, it grew and grew until Hunter collapsed. His family was terrified. Was it a heart attack?

It was not – but there was an issue with his pacemaker. According to Dr. Siva Soma, the pacemaker was always working, causing his heart to be over-paced.

Eventually, Hunter underwent HBP surgery at the Oklahoma Heart Institute, which began performing this procedure in 2017. Because HBP places the wires in such a way that the heart acts more naturally, it also provides more benefits to patients.

Since his surgery, Hunter has been doing well. He is now 5 months in and feels energetic. Additionally, he no longer feels much – if any – chest pain. Thus, HBP was an effective option which allowed Hunter to take back control of his life.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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