Peter Quimby: Cardiomyopathy

Peter Quimby graduated from West Point in 1996, where he played baseball for four years and went on to serve on active duty in the 82nd Airborne Division for five years. After leaving the Army in 2002, he was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body. For nine years, he followed a program set in place by his doctors, but essentially ran from his diagnosis both emotionally and intellectually.

In 2011, Peter began a rapid physical decline resulting in a trip to Mercy Hospital on March 31. Tests showed that Peter’s heart was functioning at only 5% of normal capacity. Within six hours, he was transported to the Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. There, Peter learned he was in multiple organ failure (kidneys, liver, GI track, and heart) and most likely would not survive through the night.

Against all odds, Peter survived the night and was given the choice of having a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implanted or waiting for a heart transplant. One caveat… he may not live long enough for a heart to become available.

On April 4, 2011, Peter had an LVAD implanted at the age of 37.

Three weeks after leaving the hospital and six weeks after his surgery, Peter ran his first 5K, completing it in 45 minutes.

One year to the day after his crash, on April 1, 2012, Peter became a National Fitness Instructor at the YMCA and now teaches a group cycling class every Saturday morning.

Since then, Peter has also completed six 5K races and the 2012 Minneapolis Duathlon. While Peter finished in the bottom half of race participants, he beat over 25 individuals in his age group.

In 2012, Peter decided to give back for the quality of care has received and continues to receive at the Minneapolis Heart Institute® and joined the Board of Directors at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation.

Peter continues to enjoy life with his family while is awaits a heart transplant. Your support helps MHIF provide better options to people like Peter. Consider making a gift today.