First Brit to get Artificial Heart Goes Home
A father dying from heart failure has been able to go home after getting an artificial heart. Matthew Green, 40, had his heart replaced with an artificial implant by surgeons at Papworth Hospital, which will sustain him while he waits for a transplant. The new plastic heart is being powered by a portable driver that he carries with him in a backpack.
This is believed to be the first time that a patient in the UK has been able to leave a hospital with an entirely artificial heart. About 900 similar operations have been completed around the globe.
Green says this will revolutionise his life, as he couldn’t walk anywhere and was barely able to climb a flight of stairs before. Now, however, he’s been up and walking around, getting back to normal. He went out for lunch at a pub over the weekend and felt fantastic to be with normal people again, he added. All he has to do is change out the pump’s batteries every few hours, and the artificial device should last him as long as 3 years.
Mr Steven Tsui, a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, said that Green may not have survived waiting for a transplant without the device. There could be as many as 30 patients on the heart transplant waiting list at Papworth at any given time. About one-third of them wait for more than a year. Green’s condition was rapidly deteriorating, and they talked to him about having an artificial heart, as he may not have survived waiting for a suitable donor heart without it. This is the first time a patient has walked Britain’s streets without a human heart, he added.