"It's not much fun just sitting in a chair not being able to move," states Shirley.
Shirley was told he had 6 months to live after suffering a massive heat attack.
"I lost a lot of muscle mass and strength lying in a hospital for most of 2 months," states Shirley.
Now, he's more active than he's been in years thanks to a Left Ventricular Assist Device. Shirley wears it around his neck, and the pump works to get blood and oxygen to his heart.
"This new device immediately, with the increased in blood and oxygen, immediately increased my functionality. It gave me quality of life," states Shirley.
Shirley had also lost over 30 pounds in the hospital. The new device enables him to workout, regaining lost muscle mass.
"I've regained. I'm back to a 140 pounds, so the weight is coming back along with the strength continues to come back," states Shirley.
The prognosis for most in his situation following a massive heart attack is grim. Statistics show 1 in 5 die within a year of congestive heart failure diagnosis. Shirley says he can't believe the difference in his life since the procedure.
"One of the reason I wanted to do this interview, most people out there who are in similar situation as I was and saying, 'wow i didn't know anything like this was really available,' check with cardiologist," states Shirley.
The device also helps prolong life while many people wait for a heart transplant. Shirley had his procedure done at the Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, one of a select few medial facilities that perform the surgery.