New Year brings new chance to live for North County man

LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV) - Years after surviving cancer a North County man found himself up against another health battle. Chemotherapy damaged his heart, causing heart failure years later. 

Doctors at Scripps' Advanced Heart Failure Program were able to keep Scott Fitzgerald alive with an LVAD (left ventricular assist device) until he was able to get a new heart. 

Dr. Tom Heywood, director of the program says not enough people or doctors are aware of the LVAD and he's hoping to change that through awareness. 

"Oftentimes we don't see patients soon enough, they're too sick by the time we see them for this to help them," said Dr. Heywood. "So we want to get it out there that these pumps exist and can help people with congestive heart failure."

Fitzgerald plans to use his newfound time and energy to help save others like him, advocating for organ donation. 

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