1st Patient in Illinois Discharged Home with the Total Artificial Heart
64-Year-Old Retired Letter Carrier Had HeartMate II LVAD for Four Years Prior to Receiving the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart at Advocate Christ Medical Center
TUCSON, Ariz. – Sept. 27, 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 Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, has discharged its first patient to receive the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. Leroy Haynes, 64, left the hospital using the Freedom® portable driver on Sept. 13, to resume life at home with his wife Pat while he waits for a matching donor heart.
"I can't thank you enough," Haynes told his doctors and nurses during a news conference with his wife by his side. "We're just simple people. We've worked all of our lives and it seems saying thank you is not good enough... There's not a person that didn't smile, give me encouragement, tell me I'm going home, and now that day has come."
Haynes, a letter carrier who retired from the post office in 2007, had been suffering from cardiomyopathy, a disease that weakens and enlarges the heart muscle. In 2008, he received a HeartMate II left ventricular assist device (LVAD). An LVAD is a continuous-flow, mechanical pump that is implanted adjacent to the heart to help the left ventricle pump blood. However, this April, Haynes was admitted to the hospital after his condition began to rapidly deteriorate.
Over several weeks, he experienced persistent ventricular tachycardia (a fast heart rhythm that starts in the lower part of the heart), which caused continuous shocks from his implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). To save his life, on June 8, doctors removed Haynes' failing heart and LVAD, and implanted their first SynCardia Total Artificial Heart to bridge him to a donor heart transplant.
"Yes our life is going to change," said his wife Pat, who is a home health care nurse. "It's a new way of living, but we're happy we have more time together."
Before heading home, the couple, who recently celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary in the hospital, was presented with a gift certificate to a local restaurant so they could enjoy a proper celebration.
Weighing 13.5 pounds, the Freedom portable 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.
CAUTION – The Freedom portable driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.
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 temporary 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.
Janelle Drumwright, firstname.lastname@example.org, (520) 547-7463