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Press Release:

Teen with Total Artificial Heart Bridged to Transplant
at Texas Children's Hospital

18-Year-Old Jordan Merecka was 1st Pediatric Total Artificial Heart Patient
to be Discharged Home Using the Freedom® Portable Driver

 

Total Artificial Heart recipient Jordan Merecka and his girlfriend Linda Thibodeaux attend a benefit held in his honor on Jan. 26, 2012. The two met at Texas Children’s Hospital where both were being treated for congenital heart failure. Jordan was implanted with the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart in May 2011, the same month Linda received her second heart transplant.Total Artificial Heart recipient Jordan Merecka and his girlfriend Linda Thibodeaux attend a benefit held in his honor on Jan. 26. The two met at Texas Children’s Hospital where both were being treated for congenital heart failure. Jordan was implanted with the Total Artificial Heart in May 2011, the same month Linda received her second heart transplant.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Feb. 9, 2012 – SynCardia Systems, Inc., manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart, announced today that 18-year-old Jordan Merecka was successfully bridged to a heart transplant at Texas Children's Hospital after 160 days of support with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart.

"Before I got the Total Artificial Heart, I had a lot of chest pain. I could only walk about 100 yards before I was out of breath and had to stop because I couldn't go any farther," said Jordan. "With the Total Artificial Heart, I could walk again, go outside, and I had no more chest pain. I almost felt back to my old self. Now that I have my new donor heart, it's just getting back to a normal life step by step."

Just two days after his Oct. 29th transplant, for Halloween, Jordan masqueraded as his surgeon, Dr. David L.S. Morales. "Jordan was a little more than 24 hours out of a 12-hour surgery and he's the one cracking jokes," said Dr. Morales.  

Jordan made headlines in August 2011 when he became the first teen in the U.S. to be discharged from the hospital using the Freedom® portable driver to power his Total Artificial Heart. Weighing 13.5 pounds, the Freedom driver is the world's first wearable power supply for the SynCardia 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.

JordanTX2For Halloween, just two days after receiving his heart transplant, Total Artificial Heart recipient Jordan Merecka masqueraded as his surgeon, Dr. David L.S. Morales, at Texas Children’s Hospital.

"It was a really good feeling getting to go home again," said Jordan. "I'd go on little walks and go fishing with my friends. My sisters and my brother were really happy that I was back and that Mom and Dad were home so they weren't alone all the time."

Jordan was born with multiple congenital heart defects, including a "reversed" heart (dextrocardia) and his heart vessels backwards (corrected transposition of the great arteries). While awaiting a transplant, he was admitted to the hospital in April 2011 suffering from end-stage biventricular heart failure. The following month, his vital organs began to fail and he was placed on a ventilator. To save Jordan's life, on May 22, 2011, his doctors performed Texas Children's first implant of the Total Artificial Heart.

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

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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 over 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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