Matt Cruise, Clinical Specialist, Neuromodulation, Boston Scientific
In the summer of 2016, Matt Cruise experienced a dramatic life-altering event that ultimately led him to Boston Scientific. Young, athletic and easy-going, Matt grew up in Rhode Island in the U.S. with a close-knit family including two older brothers and a younger sister.
“Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a doctor and help people, but I mentally programmed myself to have a business mind,” Matt shared. In high school, he exceled in academics and athletics despite occasional heart fluttering. “I was diagnosed with anxiety, which made sense because my heart would randomly start racing when I was in new situations,” he added.
Over time, Matt learned to adjust his life around his randomly racing heart. He excelled at Bentley University, a business-focused school 13 miles away from Boston. By all accounts, everything was going to plan until the day everything changed. At just 21 years old, Matt experienced a sudden cardiac arrest.
“I had been working at a summer internship for only a few weeks when I got a cold. That morning, I had coffee and took some cold medicine. The last thing I remember was walking to my (then) boss’s office at the end of the day,” Matt shared.
His racing heart, inaccurately attributed to anxiety, was actually an arrhythmia. The cough medicine, coffee and self-imposed pressure pushed his heart to the limit. He was immediately treated by members of the building’s security team and local paramedics, before being rushed to Tufts Medical Center where he lay in a coma for three days. “Doctors told my family that there’d be a 99% chance that I’d have severe brain damage,” Matt explained.
When Matt woke up, the prognosis was indeed grim—he was looking at a six-to-12-month recovery with little hope of returning to school and a much less active lifestyle. He sustained liver damage and also suffered two strokes that impaired his motor skills causing slurred speech, as well as short-term memory loss. Undaunted by the news, Matt was determined to not only recover, but graduate college on time. “I’m not a rule-breaker, but if my ability is questioned or if you tell me I can’t do something, I rise to the challenge,” Matt quipped.
Doctors told Matt and his family he’d need a defibrillator and suggested the EMBLEM™ S-ICD System because of his young age and the device’s ability to deliver protection without the need for wires implanted in the heart and blood vessels, which can help avoid future complications.
That’s when it clicked. “When they showed me the packaging with the Boston Scientific logo and serial number, I remembered my older brother, James, interviewed with Boston Scientific. At the time, I didn’t know what the company did. I just knew the name and that my brother liked the company, and I felt comfortable going ahead with the procedure.”
Defying the initial expectation of six to 12 months, and with the help of his family and the hospital’s medical team, Matt made a near full recovery in only three months and returned to school. That autumn, in the fall semester, at a college career fair, he saw a Boston Scientific table and approached the team to discuss the Finance Leadership Development Program—a Boston Scientific rotational program for new college graduates.
Fast forward to today, Matt has enjoyed a rewarding career in Investor Relations and Clinical Services at Boston Scientific, based in our Marlborough, Massachusetts headquarters. As he shares: “Having this EMBLEM S-ICD device gives me a unique opportunity to share my story. I may not be a doctor, but I get to help people as a Boston Scientific employee.”