News 12 First at Five / Friday, May 27, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga.---It is a small device that can save your life by keeping your heart pumping. Doctors have successfully tested a new pacemaker that works with an MRI test.
12 year old Marcus Greene has been making trips from Athens to Georgia Health Sciences University for close to a decade.
"I've known Marcus since he was about three years old," said professor of pediatrics Dr. Roger Vega. "We get emotional when we see him coming down the road from Athens in bad shape."
"They have been pretty good my whole life," said Marcus about GHSU doctors.
Marcus is a sickle cell patient with a tumor growing in and around his heart.
Doctors had to install an advanced pacemaker that is compatible with MRI testing.
"This is very new," said Dr. Robert Sorrentino. "This device was introduced at the end of February this year."
Weeks after Marcus received the pacemaker he needed an MRI.
"They were on pins and needles as he was going into the magnet," said Dr. Vega. "Do we get nervous? Do we get afraid that something is going to go wrong? Absolutely."
"It's also a game changer," said Dr. Sorrentino. "Because if you think about it why wouldn't you want to put one of the pacemakers in anybody who needed a pacemaker."
Marcus is still undergoing treatment to shrink his tumor.