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Hiker without Human Heart Receives Heart Transplant 607 Miles Later
Date:11/15/2012

or other Total Artificial Heart patients, Mr. Marshall said, "Don't go home and stay cooped up. You need to get out and take advantage of the time you have to get in shape to prepare for the transplant surgery and live life. Some people are afraid. The only thing they want to do is be home or go to the clinic for visits, but for me, that's not living life."

In 1999, Mr. Marshall was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a disease that destroys the heart muscle over time, and ventricular tachycardia, an irregular, fast heartbeat. Although his implanted defibrillator shocked his heart 30 times over a 12-year span, Mr. Marshall never let his heart condition slow him down. He continued to hike three to five miles daily, despite his ejection fraction being only 20%.

However, last fall, he started experiencing shortness of breath while hiking on level ground, which had never happened before. On Jan. 23, Mr. Marshall and his wife Kathy traveled from their home in Wasilla, Alaska, to Seattle for what was supposed to be a one-day heart evaluation. Doctors discovered his heart was functioning at less than 10 percent, and didn't think he would survive the flight home.

Mr. Marshall was not a candidate for a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) - a mechanical pump that supports only the left side of the heart - because the right side of his heart was too weak. His doctors decided the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart was his only option for survival.

Weighing 13.5 pounds (~6 kg), the Freedom portable driver is the world's first wearable power supply for the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart. 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.

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SOURCE SynCardia Systems, Inc.
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