1st SynCardia Total Artificial Heart Patient in Illinois Discharged Home

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64-Year-Old Retired Letter Carrier Had HeartMate II LVAD for Four Years Prior to Receiving the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart at Advocate Christ Medical Center

SynCardia, Total Artificial Heart, artificial heart, Freedom driver, heart failure, ventricular tachycardia, LVAD, donor heart, heart transplant, Advocate Christ Medical Center, Leroy Haynes

Leroy Haynes is the first SynCardia Total Artificial Heart patient in Illinois to be discharged from the hospital using the Freedom® portable driver. He and his wife of 42 years, Pat, spoke at a news conference held at Advocate Christ Medical Center on Sept. 13, 2012.

SynCardia Systems, Inc., manufacturer of the world’s first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart, announced today that Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, has discharged its first patient to receive the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. Leroy Haynes, 64, left the hospital using the Freedom® portable driver on Sept. 13, to resume life at home with his wife Pat while he waits for a matching donor heart.

“I can’t thank you enough,” Haynes told his doctors and nurses during a news conference with his wife by his side. “We’re just simple people. We’ve worked all of our lives and it seems saying thank you is not good enough… There’s not a person that didn’t smile, give me encouragement, tell me I’m going home, and now that day has come.”

Haynes, a letter carrier who retired from the post office in 2007, had been suffering from cardiomyopathy, a disease that weakens and enlarges the heart muscle. In 2008, he received a HeartMate II left ventricular assist device (LVAD). An LVAD is a continuous-flow, mechanical pump that is implanted adjacent to the heart to help the left ventricle pump blood. However, this April, Haynes was admitted to the hospital after his condition began to rapidly deteriorate.

Over several weeks, he experienced persistent ventricular tachycardia (a fast heart rhythm that starts in the lower part of the heart), which caused continuous shocks from his implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). To save his life, on May 8, doctors removed Haynes’ failing heart and LVAD, and implanted their first SynCardia Total Artificial Heart to bridge him to a donor heart transplant.

“Yes our life is going to change,” said his wife Pat, who is a home health care nurse. “It’s a new way of living, but we’re happy we have more time together.”

Before heading home, the couple, who recently celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary in the hospital, was presented with a gift certificate to a local restaurant so they could enjoy a proper celebration.

Weighing 13.5 pounds, the Freedom portable driver is the world’s first wearable power supply for the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart. The Freedom driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S.

View news coverage of Advocate Christ’s first discharge
Watch videos about Advocate Christ’s first discharge
Read press release from Advocate Christ

CAUTION – The Freedom portable driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.

About the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart

SynCardia Systems, Inc. (Tucson, AZ) is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people dying from end-stage biventricular heart failure. There have been more than 1,000 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 270 patient years of life.
Similar to a heart transplant, SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves, eliminating the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular failure. Unlike a donor heart, the Total Artificial Heart is immediately available at SynCardia Certified Centers. It is the only device that provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through each ventricle. This high volume of safe blood flow helps speed the recovery of vital organs, helping make the patient a better transplant candidate.

SynCardia Wins Two Gold Stevies® at 2012 American Business Awards

On June 18, 2012, SynCardia was honored with two Gold Stevie® Awards at the 10th Annual American Business Awards. SynCardia won "Company of the Year – Health Products and Services" and "Most Innovative Company of the Year – up to 100 Employees." See the full list of SynCardia Awards & Recognition, which includes accolades from Forbes, Fast Company and more.

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Don Isaacs
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