AMES, Iowa – Iowa State men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg knew this time would come to replace his pacemaker but he didn’t expect it to be so soon.
Hoiberg, now 41, was diagnosed with an aortic root aneurism in 2005. The diagnosis ended his NBA career but saved his life. He was fitted with a pacemaker during surgery and Tuesday that pacemaker will be replaced.
Hoiberg thought his current pacemaker would last until next year, but a checkup suggested the batteries need changing now.
Hoiberg often describes the changing of his pacemaker as “routine surgery.” If all goes well, he’ll be out of the hospital the same day as the procedure.
Hoiberg’s pacemaker is near his left shoulder. It controls the rhythm of his heart beat. The pacemaker has been there 9 years.
Doctors will remove the old pacemaker, and replace it with a new one.
Hoiberg’s heart forced him to stop playing basketball competitively, but he works out daily to stay in good shape.
Hoiberg will also need a new heart valve one day. Unlike the pacemaker, that will not be routine surgery.
Fred told Channel 13 Sports Director Keith Murphy in April when he first collapsed nine years ago, he thought he was dying. With successful surgery, good doctors, and the pacemaker, he’s able to live a regular life.
But the pacemaker remains a constant, beating reminder, his heart needs help.