POSTED: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 5:45pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 6:15pm
Longview, Tx (KETK) — Victor Norman is a medical anomaly: he's living with no pulse.
A heart attack caused the 73-year-old Longview resident's heart to stop beating.
Victor says his heart attack was very severe.
"They didn't even want to admit to the hospital because they didn't think I was going to make it."
Doctors found Victor's left ventricle was completely destroyed. The only option to save his life was to install a Left Ventricle Assist Device, a machine only four other East Texans are living with. The battery-operated machine pumps Victor's blood for him.
Victor's lifesaving device comes with some drawbacks: he can no longer fish because water could destroy the machine, he can't vacuum because of the static electricity, metal detectors are a no-no, and he gets short of breath in a heartbeat.
Through it all, Victor says he's grateful because his heart attack gave him a renewed appreciation for life.
" I'm no longer bulletproof. I'm just a mortal man and i'm just a heartbeat away from death.. as we all are."
Victor can't have CPR because the compressions would crush his device. Today he enjoys educating local fire departments and medical students about his rare condition.
" I talk to them about things they've been taught to do which they can't do because of me and to make them aware."
Victor says no matter what.. his heart will always beat for his family and God.
" Without him..nobody has anything to hold on to."