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His ailing heart was in the right place

Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 19, 2010

Jim Meis' survival following a heart attack in March is the story of a community with a rare combination of medical assets: civilians trained in CPR, state-of-the art emergency care and cutting-edge cardiac medicine. But his longer story -- a dozen near-death experiences since he was a young man -- also describes three decades in the evolution of heart disease and cardiac medicine. It also explains why deaths from heart attacks are on the wane in the United States -- while a very different cardiac ailment, chronic heart failure, is a growing epidemic, and the demand for heart transplants is relentless. "We are the victims of our own success," said Meis' cardiologist, Mark Houghland, MD.