Brigham and Women’s Hospital Implants First ‘Total Artificial Heart’
Bringham and Women’s Hospital in New England has performed the first total artificial heart transplant in the area. The transplant was done last February on a 66-year-old retired high school teacher from Holbrook, who was diagnosed with a rapidly deteriorating condition that would have caused total heart failure if not treated promptly.
Boston.com reports that James Carelli’s artificial heart is intended as a bridge toward a human heart transplant, so it is not permanent. Instead, with Carelli’s diagnosis of cardiac senile amyloidosis, his only option for survival was to receive an artificial heart while waiting on the donor list for a transplant.
This is the first time that the hospital announced the transplant, noting that Carelli’s condition has dramatically improved following the procedure, which was announced on Thursday morning at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
The Boston Herald reports that Carelli stated at the conference:
“It’s been an amazing journey, and I really can’t believe I’m still here, but I feel great, and I get to live another day.”
The retired high school teacher can now stand up and walk on a treadmill for more than an hour with no problem. CBS News reports that he also stated:
“People are going to realize that if you have a real serious heart problem, you have an alternative now. It may take months, but at least you’ll get through it. And that’s a big hope, because sometimes people have no hope at all.”
According to The Boston Herald, Carelli will stay at Brigham and Women’s Hospital until a donor heart is found.