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Former Semi-Pro Arena Football Player Bridged to Heart Transplant with the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart
Date:5/30/2013

TUCSON, Ariz., May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- When Justin Ryder, 35, was discharged from University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson on May 20, he had a new donor heart beating in his chest and a new baby boy waiting for him at home in Las Vegas, his heart transplant made possible by 83 days of life with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130530/LA22940)

"The SynCardia Total Artificial Heart is a lifesaving device for people like me who have severe heart failure," said Ryder. "It bought me that time; it gave me that peace of mind that my new artificial heart wasn't going to stop, that it was going to keep me alive until I got that call for a heart transplant."

Ryder, an athletic father of four and former semi-pro arena football player, has battled heart problems most of his adult life. He was diagnosed with an enlarged heart at age 18 when he tried to join the Navy. Over the years, he underwent multiple surgeries, including mechanical replacement of his mitral and aortic valves and implantation of a pacemaker and a defibrillator. Ryder did well after each of the surgeries and was able to resume playing football.

However, by 2012, Ryder's ejection fraction -- a measurement of how much blood the heart pumps out to the body during each beat -- had dropped to just 10% compared to a normal range of 50 to 60%. That's when doctors approached him about implanting a device to bridge him to a heart transplant.

"The doctors told me about a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and the Total Artificial Heart, but
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SOURCE SynCardia Systems, Inc.
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