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
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.
"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.
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 for use 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 account for over 400 patient years of life on the device. Since January 2010 more than 550 SynCardia Hearts have been implanted.
The youngest patient to receive a SynCardia Heart was 9 years old; the oldest was 76 years old. The longest a patient has lived with a SynCardia Heart was nearly four years (1,374 days) before receiving a successful donor heart transplant Sept. 11, 2011.
SynCardia Systems also manufactures the Freedom® portable driver, which powers the SynCardia Heart while allowing clinically stable patients to be discharged the hospital to live at home and in their communities. The wearable Freedom driver has been used by more than 200 patients, accounting for over 120 years of support.