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Father tells of artificial heart op

A 40-year-old father had said he is looking forward to spending time with his son after becoming the first person in the UK to receive a total artificial heart that will enable him to go home from hospital.

Matthew Green, a research scientist, is preparing to return to his home in London after undergoing the ground-breaking surgery at Papworth Hospital, near Cambridge.

He had been critically ill, suffering from end-stage failure of both chambers of his heart but the device has bought him vital time while a donor is found and he will now be able to gradually return to a normal life.

Speaking at Papworth Hospital he said: "The main thing is getting home to my wife Gill and five-year-old Dylan - he's looking forward to getting his dad back."

The device, which will serve the role of both ventricles and heart valves, was fitted during a six-hour operation last month. Although similar operations have been carried out in the past, it is the first time a patient has been able to leave hospital thanks to a mobile device which will power the heart.

Mr Green said: "Two years ago I was cycling nine miles to work and nine miles back every day but by the time I was admitted to hospital I was struggling to walk even a few yards. I am really excited about going home and just being able to do the everyday things that I haven't been able to do for such a long time."

The SynCardia artificial heart provides a blood flow of up to 9.5 litres, eliminating the symptoms and effects of severe heart failure. It will be powered by a "freedom portable driver", worn like a backpack or shoulder bag.

Mr Green suffered from arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathia, a heart muscle disease which results in arrhythmia, heart failure and sudden death.

Steven Tsui, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon and director of the transplant service, said: "At any point in time there may be as many as 30 people waiting for a heart transplant on our waiting list at Papworth, with one third waiting over a year.

"Matthew's condition was deteriorating rapidly and we discussed with him the possibility of receiving this device, because without it he may not have survived the wait until a suitable donor heart could be found for him. The operation went extremely well and Matthew has made an excellent recovery."


From Belfast Telegraph