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A Heart for Jordan Merecka: Texas Children's Hospital's First Total Artificial Heart Patient Receives the Gift of a Donor Heart
Date:11/1/2011

HOUSTON, Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Saturday, Oct. 29, 18-year-old Jordan Merecka received a phone call that changed his life; he learned that he was a good match for a donor heart. After a 12-hour heart transplant surgery at Texas Children's Hospital, Merecka and his family are celebrating his amazing gift of a new life.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111101/DC97765)

"There are no words to express our feeling of gratitude for this beautiful gift for our son," said Suzanne Merecka, Jordan's mother. "We know a special family made an extremely hard, but generous decision, and we will forever be grateful."

Merecka is a history-making teen whose life was saved in a rare 15-hour operation on May 22, when Texas Children's Hospital became the first pediatric hospital in the world to implant the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. After spending three months tethered to a 418-pound machine called "Big Blue" that powered his Total Artificial Heart while he was in the hospital, Merecka was able to leave the hospital and go home wearing the Freedom® portable driver. This battery-operated, 13.5-lb portable power supply allowed him to move around freely while he awaited a donor heart, which he received on Oct. 29.

"Because of all his previous surgeries, finding the right heart for Jordan was difficult," said Dr. David L.S. Morales, pediatric cardiovascular surgeon at Texas Children's Heart Center and associate professor of surgery and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), who surgically implanted Merecka's Total Artificial Heart, as well as his new donor heart. "As opposed to waiting in the hospital for his donor heart, the Total Artificial Heart allowed Jordan the luxury of being at home with his friends and family; the chance to rehabilitate and become stronger in preparation for his heart transplant, and most importantly, the ti
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SOURCE Texas Children's Hospital
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