Turkey Businessman, Two Years without
a Human Heart, Goes Four-Wheeling
Omer Bayrak Has Returned to Work & Recreation While He Waits For a Matching Donor Heart,
Thanks to the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart powered by the 6-Kilo Freedom® Portable Driver
TUCSON, Ariz. – Oct. 22, 2013 – Omer Bayrak, who made headlines when he became the first patient in Turkey to be discharged from the hospital with his SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart powered by the Freedom portable driver, continues to live at home with his family to wait for a matching donor heart. Mr. Bayrak has returned to work and, as time allows, recreation.
Indeed, Mr. Bayrak was found doing some off-roading over the summer in his woodsy hometown of Almus in the Tokat district. “I enjoy the outdoors and the Freedom driver lets me get out into the fresh air,” says Mr. Bayrak. “Being able to do anything I want is my biggest treasure.”
Mr. Bayrak carries his six-kilogram (about 13.5 pounds) wearable Freedom driver in a backpack. “The driver, which powers the SynCardia Heart with precisely calibrated pulses of air, allows patients to live pretty normal lives at home and in their communities,” says Ufuk Yaranli, President and CEO of Natura Medikal Urunler Ltd., the Turkish distributor for the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart. “In fact, because Mr. Bayrak is living comfortably with his family and continuing his physical activities in his hometown, he will be in better shape to receive a matching donor heart transplant when one becomes available.”
Mr. Bayrak demonstrated how the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart worked when he attended the annual meeting of the Turkish Society for Artificial Organs and Support Systems (TUYOD). During a session about the SynCardia Heart, he was invited to the stage so the audience could ask questions. He responded that he was "doing really well and very comfortable with SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart." He added that he is continuing his daily life with very few limitations.
Today there are seven SynCardia Certified Centers in Turkey, where 23 SynCardia Total Artificial Hearts have been implanted. Worldwide there are 87 SynCardia Certified Centers with an additional 33 Heart Centers in the process of certification.
SynCardia recognizes and thanks Ufuk Yaranli and Natura Medikal Urunler Ltd., the Turkish distributor for the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart, for their commitment and on-going support of Turkish heart hospitals.
The Freedom portable 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.
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 accounts for over 400 patient years of life on the device. Since January 2011 more than 400 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 leave 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