French Man with SynCardia Total Artificial Heart Surpasses Two Years of Support
“I Have Recuperated All My Physical Functions,” Says 36-Year-Old Frédéric Thiollet
TUCSON, Ariz. – August 15, 2013 – Due to the global shortage of donor hearts, patients on the waiting list for a heart transplant can wait several months to several years for a match to be found. But for 36-year-old Frédéric Thiollet, who surpassed two years of support with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart on Aug. 5, he’s enjoying each and every day.
“I feel well and I am confident, having been implanted now for over two years,” said Frédéric Thiollet. “I have recuperated all my physical functions, even my sexual activity, which I had believed was gone forever. In my own words, I have enjoyed an effective resurrection, a new birth. Physically I have no limit. I am as strong and powerful as before, even more so than before.”
Prior to receiving the Total Artificial Heart in 2011, Frédéric Thiollet said, “I was clearly waiting for my last breath.” Despite being hungry and tired, he found himself unable to eat or sleep. The simplest efforts made him short of breath. He could no longer wash himself or get dressed by himself and was unable to talk. During a two-month period, he lost 32 kg (70 pounds), shrinking from 82 kg (180 pounds) to 50 kg (110 pounds).
“This young man was in severe global heart failure,” said Prof. Daniel Duveau, medical director of the Thorax Institute at University Hospital of Nantes in France. “We chose the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart for several reasons. During our 25-year experience, the Total Artificial Heart has produced better results than any other biventricular support device. For example, at our hospital, 75% of Total Artificial Heart patients received a transplant compared to only 40% of p-VAD patients. In addition, other biventricular support devices, even those totally implanted, provide a poor quality of life. The SynCardia Total Artificial Heart powered by the Freedom® portable driver provides patients with the mobility they need to resume life at home, as proven by Mr. Thiollet.”
Frédéric Thiollet was implanted with the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart on Aug. 5, 2011. Within two months of the surgery, he had gained back 35 kg (77 pounds) and was exercising daily for 4 to 5 hours, doing light weights and riding a stationary bicycle.
He has been waiting for a matching donor heart at home since Dec. 15, 2011, using the Freedom portable driver, the world’s first wearable power supply for the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart. He has been supported by the Freedom driver for more than 700 days.
“The benefit of the Freedom driver is invaluable,” said Frédéric Thiollet. “I have been able to return to my daily life with my family instead of having to wait for a donor heart for many months or years in the hospital. Due to the high level of antibodies in my system, finding a heart for me will be almost impossible. However, I will continue to go on in my own way thanks to the Total Artificial Heart. It allows me to love every day of life, and will continue to do so for a long time to come.”
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