Health Matters: Man Sent To Hospice, Saved At Another Hospital


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A man says his heart doctor in Texarkana sent him home, without any options to save his life.

“Those people were going to let me die, and they knew it. They knew I wasn’t going to make it,” says Dale Fulmer, Congestive Heart Failure Patient.

Dale Fulmer, 76, didn’t know how much time he had left, but knew, he still had a fighting chance, even though his health was going downhill.

“I couldn’t hardly walk, I was gaining lots of weight, a lot of fluid, couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep,” Dale explains.

He got a defibrillator in 2007, but it wasn’t doing the job. It wasn’t until the following year, Dale says his doctor at the time told him there was no hope. Fortunately, Dale was told otherwise at Baptist Health. A friend told him to see what doctors at Baptist Health’s Heart Failure and Transplant Institute can do for him. That’s where doctors implanted a HeartMate device.

“It began to work, it began to take over and everything you know and do what it’s supposed to do and it actually saved my life,” he says.

Fast forward 10 years later…

“Doctors tell me, you really shouldn’t be here today,” says Reporter Susanne Brunner.

“Yeah that’s what they tell me,” Dale replied.

Doctor Steve Hutchins at Baptist Health says the HeartMate device helped Dale’s left side of his heart pump blood. Not long after, Dale received a heart transplant.

“He was recommended to go into hospice because he was in a terminal phase of heart failure during that time,” says Dr. Steve Hutchins, Medical Director of Baptist Health Heart Failure and Transplant Institute. “It’s important to know that here at Baptist, we have the ability to see patients with advanced heart failure and offer them a comprehensive approach and management.”

Doctors say not many people know about the technological advances offered at Baptist Health. Had Dale not made the phone call, he wouldn’t be here today, 10 years later, happy and healthy, with a donor heart.

“You know it’s plain and simple, but God placed me at the right place, at the right time, with the right people,” says Dale.

If you’re interested in learning more about the cardiology services at Baptist Health, you can visit their website here:

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