All Things Heart 6-6-24

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


Key points from today’s guests:

Rick Tegethoff, heart transplant recipient

  • At 62, Rick had not been too a doctor in more than 50 years.
  • When something didn’t feel right, he finally saw a doctor who diagnosed him with cardiac amyloidosis, a buildup of abnormal proteins in the tissues of the heart.
  • Rick’s situation was dire as his heart had grown twice the size it should be and needed a transplant as soon as possible.
  • He almost went to see specialists in New York, until he realized that the care he needed was right here in Kansas.
  • He went home 10 days after his transplant and is doing very well.
  • He thanks the donor and family for their sacrifice and tries to honor their gift by living a good life and educating others about amyloidosis.

Dr. Zubair Shah, director of the cardiac amyloid program, The University of Kansas Health System

  • There is a general lack of awareness about amyloidosis and it is very difficult to diagnose.
  • Some of the more unique clues are bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Until 2018, there was no treatment available for it. The protein buildup in the heart makes it unable to perform its usual function.
  • It does make the heart transplant more complicated because the rest of the body’s organs are not prepared for the blood pumping from a healthy heart.
  • I do want to emphasize the transplant part of amyloidosis is a team effort – the surgeons. our nurse practitioners, cardiothoracic ICU – it requires a lot of people and a lot of work to see results like this, so I thank all of them.
  • Rick also was a great patient who was dedicated to his recovery. I’m very proud of him.  

Friday, June 7 at 8 a.m. is the next Morning Medical Update. CAR-T cell therapy is no longer a "last-ditch" treatment. We discuss the recent approval for earlier use with Multiple Myeloma, and meet someone who says they're alive today because they could access the treatment.

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