Guy Thompson, 85, from Austin is learning all about the device that helped his heart pump.

The Heart Hospital of Austin is using the world’s smallest heart pump to help save the lives of patients who undergo high-risk heart procedures.

Thompson is one of about a dozen on whom the Heart Hospital of Austin has used the device. The pump helped fix blockage to three of Thompson's arteries.

Because he has an active lifestyle, the recovery involved with open heart surgery was too long and expensive for him, so the pump worked out.

“I may not have many more years to be active so … I didn't want to be out of commission for a long time,” said Thompson.

So his cardiologist, Dr. Frank Zidar, used the Impella heart pump.

"Helps his heart pump during the operation where we put the stints in the blood vessels,” Dr. Zidar explained. “It really allowed us to do that safely and get him back to hiking and doing all the things he wants to do very quickly."

The results?

"Phenomenal," Dr. Zidar said. "It’s most effective in patients who are in shock in the middle of a heart attack, but also effective in patients who are undergoing high-risk coronary stinting, as we did with Mr. Thompson."

Thompson and healthcare professionals at the Heart Hospital learned about the procedure at the hospital's mobile learning lab Wednesday.

Thompson said he highly recommends the pump and is thankful for Dr. Zidar.

"I'll always be grateful to him,” said Thompson. "He found a place in my heart."