French artificial heart man: I feel great
A SECOND patient in France to receive an artificial heart transplant says he “feels alive again”, eight months after the risky operation – and he hopes to live to 100.
The 69-year-old man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said in an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche that he had made a full recovery, after the surgery in Nantes last August.
“It doesn’t feel like I’m carrying something that isn’t mine,” the grandfather-of-four told the paper. “I’m getting up, walking, bending over, keeping my balance. I don’t even think about it.”
He added: “Ever since the day of the operation I felt alive again. Everything became clearer, everything came back to life.”
His doctor, Daniel Duveau, told Europe 1 that, since leaving hospital in January, his patient had been out mowing the lawn, had begun cycling again and had resumed shooting lessons at his local club.
The first patient to be fitted with an artificial heart died 75 days after undergoing the transplant, but the second patient said he had no hesitations: “I didn’t make a big drama of it. I told myself: you’re screwed, you need to do something.”
Artificial hearts have been used for many years as a temporary fix for patients with chronic heart problems, but the Carmat device imitates a real heart and is designed as a permanent implant that can extend life for patients while they wait for a suitable donor.
It also aims to reduce side-effects associated with heart transplants, such as blood clots or rejection.
The patient hopes the heart, which runs on rechargeable batteries, will give him another 20 years of life expectancy, but added: “Reaching 100 years old? Why not?”