Here is the full text of Dr. Chuck Murry’s talk titled “Regrowing heart muscle with stem cells” at TEDxSeattle conference.
For over 20 years, Dr. Chuck Murry has studied the causes of cardiovascular disease and researched harnessing the potential of stem cells to repair damaged heart muscle. In this talk, he shares his journey and groundbreaking research, providing hope through evidence that we can heal the heart.
I’d like to tell you about a patient named Donna. In this photograph, Donna was in her mid-70s, a vigorous, healthy woman, the matriarch of a large clan. She had a family history of heart disease, however, and one day, she had the sudden onset of crushing chest pain.
Now unfortunately, rather than seeking medical attention, Donna took to her bed for about 12 hours until the pain passed. The next time she went to see her physician, he performed an electrocardiogram, and this showed that she’d had a large heart attack, or a “myocardial infarction” in medical parlance.
After this heart attack, Donna was never quite the same. Her energy levels progressively waned, she couldn’t do a lot of the physical activities she’d previously enjoyed. It got to the point where she couldn’t keep up with her grandkids, and it was even too much work to go out to the end of the driveway to pick up the mail.
One day, her granddaughter came by to walk the dog, and she found her grandmother dead in the chair. Doctors said it was a cardiac arrhythmia that was secondary to heart failure. But the last thing that I should tell you is that Donna was not just an ordinary patient. Donna was my mother.