Two Years Without a Human Heart, Turkey Businessman Goes Four-Wheeling

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Omer Bayrak has returned to work & recreation while he waits for a matching donor heart, thanks to the SynCardia total artificial heart powered by the 6-kilo Freedom® portable driver.

SynCardia, Total Artificial Heart, artificial heart, heart failure, Freedom driver, heart transplant

Omer Bayrak hits the open road near his home in Almus, carrying his wearable Freedom® portable driver in his backpack, which powers his SynCardia Total Artificial Heart. He is the first patient in Turkey to be discharged from the hospital to wait for his matching donor heart at home and in his community.

Omer Bayrak, who made headlines when he became the first patient in Turkey to be discharged from the hospital with his SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart powered by the Freedom® portable driver, continues to live at home with his family to wait for a matching donor heart. Mr. Bayrak has returned to work and, as time allows, recreation.

Indeed, Mr. Bayrak was found doing some off-roading over the summer in his woodsy hometown of Almus in the Tokat district. "I enjoy the outdoors and the Freedom driver lets me get out into the fresh air," says Mr. Bayrak. "Being able to do anything I want is my biggest treasure."

Mr. Bayrak carries his 6-kilo (about 13.5 pounds) wearable Freedom driver in a backpack. "The driver, which powers the SynCardia Heart with precisely calibrated pulses of air, allows patients to live pretty normal lives at home and in their communities," says Ufuk Yaranli, President and CEO of Natura Medikal Urunler Ltd., the Turkish distributor for the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart. "In fact, because Mr. Bayrak is living comfortably with his family and continuing his physical activities in his hometown, he will be in better shape to receive a matching donor heart transplant when one becomes available."

Mr. Bayrak demonstrated how the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart worked when he attended the annual meeting of the Turkish Society for Artificial Organs and Support Systems (TUYOD). During a session about the SynCardia Heart, he was invited to the stage so the audience could ask questions. He responded that he was "doing really well and very comfortable with SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart." He added that he is continuing his daily life with very few limitations.

Today there are seven SynCardia Certified Centers in Turkey, where 23 SynCardia Total Artificial Hearts have been implanted. Worldwide there are 87 SynCardia Certified Centers with an additional 33 Heart Centers in the process of certification.

SynCardia recognizes and thanks Ufuk Yaranli and Natura Medikal Urunler Ltd., the Turkish distributor for the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart, for their commitment and on-going support of Turkish heart hospitals.

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.

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, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people suffering from end-stage heart failure affecting both sides of the heart (biventricular failure). There have been more than 1,100 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 300 patient years of life on the device.

Similar to a heart transplant, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves. Unlike a donor heart, the Total Artificial Heart is immediately available at SynCardia Certified Centers. It is the only device that eliminates the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular failure.

The Total Artificial Heart provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through each ventricle. This high volume of blood flow helps speed the recovery of vital organs, helping make the patient a better transplant candidate.

Forbes Ranks SynCardia #69 Among "America’s Most Promising Companies"

In its February 2013 issue, Forbes selected SynCardia as one of "America's Most Promising Companies" for the second consecutive year. On the list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures, SynCardia was selected #69, moving up eight spots from its #77 ranking last year. See the full list of SynCardia Awards & Recognition here.

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Don Isaacs
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