KSHB: St. Joseph man with rare form of heart disease finds answers at Saint Luke's

February 12, 2020

Dave Rygalski lived an active life of traveling, hiking, and even skydiving until it came to a halt in 2018.

He became exhausted easily, experienced unusual swelling, could barely get out of bed, and lost about 80 pounds down to 140.

Another local hospital diagnosed him with AL amyloidosis, a type of cardiac amyloidosis that's caused by a protein disorder that can affect multiple organs. But it was not able to treat him since it was not very familiar with the disease. 

Dave and his wife, Lisa, consulted multiple hospitals across three states but did not find a treatment that improved his quality of life. Dave continued to deteriorate, and he was even sent home on hospice care.

But Lisa refused to give up. She discovered the Amyloidosis clinic at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute--an expert multidisciplinary team that offers the most advanced therapies for the condition.

"It was just relief that I found somebody finally that knew the disease that understood," Lisa said. "It was just like, somebody's going to finally help us."

KSHB talked to Dr. Brett Sperry, a cardiologist at Saint Luke's, about the exciting improvement Dave has made in just a few short months with the team.

Watch the full story below.

Related Content

Thumbnail
KMBC: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Can Be Linked to Rare Form of Heart Disease
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects millions of Americans, but what most people do not know is that it can be linked to a rare form of heart disease. KMBC talked to Dr. Brett Sperry about a recent study and advanced treatment options at Saint Luke's.
FOX 4 News. 5:46. Brandon Chavez, Saint Luke's patient
FOX4: Local 15-year-old one of the first to get new, tiny, life-changing pacemaker
Brandon Chavez will be one of the first in the country to get the newest and smallest pacemaker called the Micra AV. FOX4 talked to Dr. Sanjaya Gupta about what this means for patients.

Brett W Sperry, MD

Cardiology, Advanced Heart Failure/Transplant Cardiology