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SynCardia Systems, Inc.

Press Release:

Texas Heart Institute Implants 4 Total Artificial Hearts in 12 Days

3 of 4 Patients Have Been Discharged Home Using Freedom® Portable Driver as Part of FDA Clinical Study

L to R: Dr. Igor Gregoric, Total Artificial Heart patient Ken Woychesin, Dr. Jonathan Ho and Steven Parnis. Mr. Woychesin is one of four patients who received SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart at Texas Heart Institute during a 12-day period beginning July 22. L to R: Dr. Igor Gregoric, Total Artificial Heart patient Ken Woychesin, Dr. Jonathan Ho and Steven Parnis. Mr. Woychesin is one of four patients who received SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart at Texas Heart Institute during a 12-day period beginning July 22. TUCSON, Ariz. – Oct. 6, 2011 – SynCardia Systems, Inc., manufacturer of the world's only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart, announced today that Texas Heart Institute (THI) at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital (SLEH) in Houston performed four implants of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart over a 12-day period beginning July 22.

"For patients who are out of options, these devices are absolutely critical. And in most cases, the patients see marked improvement in their quality of life and how well they feel," said Dr. Igor Gregoric, director of THI's Center for Cardiac Support and associate director of Cardiovascular Surgery and Transplant Research. "It is an extremely valuable tool."

In an email to SynCardia, Jennifer Kliesing, whose husband Jeremiah was the second patient to receive the Total Artificial Heart at THI, wrote: 

"I can't thank SynCardia and all its staff enough. I know every wife says she loves her husband, but Jeremiah and I have always had something extra. I was terrified, several times, that I would go through the rest of my life without him, and SynCardia let him live... he's thrilled to be here. He is making plans to do several things as he's able... you should see the zest he has for life."

Three of the four Total Artificial Heart patients have been discharged from the hospital to wait for a matching donor heart at home using the Freedom® portable driver, the first wearable power supply for SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart. The Freedom driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S.

The three patients who have been discharged include:

  • Shawn Galloway, a 38-year-old mother who returned home just in time to go shopping for school clothes with her children
  • Ken WoychesinKen Woychesin, who had a heart attack at 26, a heart transplant at 34 and five years later, found himself in need of another transplant
  • A 22-year-old man who had previously received a heart transplant at the age of 2 at THI

"We've come a long way since that first implant," said THI's founder Dr. Denton Cooley, who performed the world's first artificial heart implant in 1968. "I am proud that THI continues to lead the way in such technology to help patients."

CAUTION – The Freedom® portable driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.

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About SynCardia Systems, LLC

SynCardia Systems, LLC in Tucson, Ariz., is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. For people suffering from end-stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure), the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart is used as a bridge to transplant, helping them survive until a matching donor heart becomes available. SynCardia also manufactures the Freedom® portable driver, which powers the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart and allows clinically stable patients to be discharged from the hospital to enjoy life at home while they wait for a heart transplant.

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SynCardia Contact:
Janelle Drumwright, jdrumwright@syncardia.com, (520) 547-7463

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