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.
About the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart
SynCardia Systems, Inc. (Tucson, AZ) is the privately-held 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 heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure). There have been more than 1,250 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 350 patient years of life on the device.
Similar to a heart transplant, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves. It is the only device that eliminates the symptoms and source of end stage biventricular failure. Unlike a donor heart, the Total Artificial Heart is immediately available at 97 SynCardia Certified Centers worldwide with 39 others in the process of certification.
The Total Artificial Heart provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through each ventricle. This high volume of blood flow helps speed the recovery of vital organs, helping make the patient a better transplant candidate.