ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man said thieves took a $30,000 device from his car. He said that device helps keep him alive.
“I have a failing heart,” said Ed Jungbluth.
He said the heart pump is the reason he’s still alive. The 83-year-old has two of them, just in case one fails.
However, just last week, he said thieves swiped his life saving device out of his car.
“This bag that has come up missing, was always on the floor in the back seat. It might look like a large purse just ripe for picking,” he said. “This is a $30,000 piece of equipment.”
Jungbluth said the pump is for a case study he’s part of with the University of Colorado Hospital. He said the heart pump is specific to him, and that hospital is the only place that has it.
“This device is in short supply. I just can’t pick up the phone and ask them to send me another one,” he said.
Jungbluth said he and his wife almost always remember to lock the car door, but that may have slipped his mind earlier this week. Now, he said the hospital most likely won’t cover the cost of the stolen heart pump. The $30,000 price tag is something they just can’t afford.
“I’m retired, and we live on social security. If you’re familiar with social security, it doesn’t pay a whole lot,” he said.
So far, Jungbluth is doing fine with the heart pump that’s currently connected to him. If it malfunctions, it’s a thought he doesn’t want to consider.
“If this one fails…well, I won’t go there,” he said.
He is working with the hospital to get a replacement for his backup heart pump, but he said he is not sure what the status is at the moment. He also filed a police report.
KRQE News 13 reached out to the University of Colorado Hospital and they said they are working to identify the study Jungbluth is involved with, and what device he’s using.