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Dad with Donor Heart Has Fingernails Painted Green by Baby Daughter, Thanks to the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart
Date:8/13/2014

TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Andrew Weaver and his wife, Heather, feared he wouldn't see their daughter, Haley, grow up because he was dying of heart failure. Instead, Andrew gets to cherish family moments that he would have missed, thanks to the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart that bridged him to a heart transplant and his great medical team at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah.

In February 2012, when the family lived in Utah, Andrew discovered he had been born with a congenitally malformed aortic valve and had developed an aneurysm (bulge) of the ascending aorta. This all came to light only after he experienced chest pains, which worsened over time.

In October 2012, doctors attempted to replace his aortic valve and a portion of his aorta, but following the procedure his heart wouldn't start beating on its own. He was rushed to Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, where he was kept alive on ECMO, a machine that takes over the function of the heart and lungs, for a few days to see if he would recover—but he didn't.

"He had profound biventricular failure," Dr. Bruce Reid, surgical director of the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute's Artificial Heart Program, said at the time. "We didn't feel we could bridge him with anything less than a (SynCardia) Total Artificial Heart."

Andrew was implanted with the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart on Oct. 18, 2012. Like a heart transplant, the SynCardia Heart replaces the two failed heart ventricles and four heart valves. It provides immediate blood flow of up to 9.5 liters a minute through each ventricle, more than what most healthy human hearts provide.

He regained his strength and eventually received a matching donor heart on Jan. 12, 2013.

Today, the family lives in
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SOURCE SynCardia Systems, Inc.
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