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Press Release:

Texas Children's Hospital Implants
Its 1st SynCardia Total Artificial Heart to Save
17-Year-Old Suffering from Biventricular Heart Failure

Houston Teen is 1 of Only 3 Congenital Heart Patients in the U.S. Under 18
to Receive World's Only Approved Total Artificial Heart as a Bridge to Transplant

 

Jordan Merecka is the first patient at Texas Children's Hospital and the only patient in a children’s hospital to receive SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart. He celebrated his 18th birthday just one week after his surgery on May 29, 2011.Jordan Merecka is the first patient at Texas Children's Hospital and the only patient in a children’s hospital to receive SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart. He celebrated his 18th birthday just one week after his surgery on May 29, 2011.

Jordan Merecka is the first patient at Texas Children's Hospital and the only patient in a children’s hospital to receive SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart. He celebrated his 18th birthday just one week after his surgery on May 29, 2011.

TUCSON, Ariz. – July 7, 2011 – SynCardia Systems, Inc. announced today that Texas Children's Hospital in Houston performed its first implant of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart on May 22, to save the life of 17-year-old Jordan Merecka. Texas Children's is the first pediatric hospital in the world to implant SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart.

"The patient's overall condition had deteriorated rapidly," said Dr. David L.S. Morales, pediatric cardiovascular surgeon at Texas Children's Heart Center, who performed the surgery. "Jordan was waiting for a donor heart, but both ventricles and two of his valves were failing, and we were running out of time. The Total Artificial Heart, which was immediately available when this patient needed it most, could take care of all of these problems with one operation."

Jordan, who was born with multiple congenital heart defects and awaiting a transplant, progressed to end-stage biventricular failure. Jordan is only the third congenital heart patient under the age of 18 in the U.S. and the 6th in the world to be implanted with the Total Artificial Heart.  

"He will still need a donor heart, but we have time now to wait for the best match," said Dr. Jeffrey Dreyer, medical director of cardiac transplantation at Texas Children's Hospital. "The Total Artificial Heart will improve his overall health and allow him to enjoy increased activity during the wait for a donor heart."'

Prior to being hospitalized, Jordan had been looking forward to his prom (May 27), his 18th birthday (May 29) and his graduation (June 5). Jordan missed his prom while in the hospital, but thanks to his medical team and SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart, he celebrated his 18th birthday just a week after his surgery. Jordan was also able to watch his graduation ceremony online. Jordan's class gave him a standing ovation when his 16-year-old sister accepted his diploma on his behalf.

Pediatric cardiovascular surgeon Dr. David L.S. Morales and SynCardia Total Artificial Heart patient Jordan Merecka, 18, speak at a news conference held on June 29, 2011, announcing Texas Children’s Hospital’s first implant of the Total Artificial Heart.Pediatric cardiovascular surgeon Dr. David L.S. Morales and SynCardia Total Artificial Heart patient Jordan Merecka, 18, speak at a news conference held on June 29, 2011, announcing Texas Children’s Hospital’s first implant of the Total Artificial Heart.

JPediatric cardiovascular surgeon Dr. David L.S. Morales and SynCardia Total Artificial Heart patient Jordan Merecka, 18, speak at a news conference held on June 29, 2011, announcing Texas Children’s Hospital’s first implant of the Total Artificial Heart.

Jordan was born with multiple congenital heart defects, including his heart on the wrong side of his chest (dextrocardia) and his heart vessels backwards (corrected transposition of the great arteries - TGA). Growing up, he underwent two open chest surgeries, several surgical revisions and implantation of a defibrillator. By September 2010, Jordan's heart had begun to fail, and he was placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant.

In April 2011, Jordan was admitted to Texas Children's Hospital with heart failure symptoms and kidney insufficiency. During the following weeks, he was in and out of the cardiovascular intensive care unit. Then, on the weekend of May 21, all of his organs began to fail and he was placed on a ventilator. To save Jordan's life, on May 22, doctors implanted SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart.

Watch news stories about Jordan
View video of Jordan's journey so far from YouTube

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SynCardia Systems, Inc. in Tucson, Arizona is the privately-held owner and manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart.

Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people suffering from end-stage biventricular heart failure in which both ventricles can no longer pump enough blood for a person to survive.

More than 1,350 implants of the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart accounts for over 400 patient years of life on the device. Since January 2011 more than 400 SynCardia Hearts have been implanted.

SynCardia Systems also manufactures the Freedom® portable driver, which powers the SynCardia Heart while allowing clinically stable patients to leave the hospital to live at home and in their communities. The wearable Freedom driver has been used by 190 patients, accounting for over 110 years of support.

 

Media Contact:
Don Isaacs
Vice President of Communications
SynCardia Systems, Inc.
Cell: (520) 955-0660

 

*The SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart was formerly known as the
SynCardia temporary CardioWest™ Total Artificial Heart.

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