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Thread: Living Artificially

  1. #1
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Living Artificially

    I wanted to give it 48 hours before I said anything but my cousin-in-law received a total artificial heart on Monday. This will buy time while waiting for a donor heart to be available. She was completely fine before Thanksgiving. Went in for a new irregular heart beat and had an ablation procedure which led to this. Pretty crazy stuff. She's only 46. Two huge tubes come out of her chest and hook up to the machine that pumps her heart. It's very loud. 16 lb Batterie pack only last about 2 hours so this huge air pump will be a part of her life until a heart is available. The family is so thankful for this opportunity to live though it is a different kind of living at 46 than you would expect, someone has to be with her 24/7. She'll remain in the hospital and then move to a rehab center. The longest someone has lived with an artificial heart is 1,512 days, with a transplanted donor heart is 33 years (so far). The first heart transplant was in '67 which lasted 18 days. We've come a long way. About 5,000 heart transplants take place each year worldwide.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  2. #2
    Williamsmith
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    I am glad to have this information. My brother is beginning his journey down the same path. I am concerned for what this means for him, his wife, my mother and me. I guess I will find out.

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Wow.. a whole new world of medicine. I'm so happy that this solution is available to your family, FloatOn!

    I do a lot of market research in interventional cardiology, and it is completely amazing what can be done these days.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  4. #4
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Williamsmith, sorry that your brother is headed this direction as well. We're all pretty stunned at how quickly this happened and even more quickly it went from "you should consider a transplant as an option to we're doing an artificial heart tomorrow". Here is what the pump sounds like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_kn8NAdo1Q
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  5. #5
    Williamsmith
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    Thank you for that also. One part of the concern is his healthcare. He doesn’t know how long his employer is going to continue keeping him enrolled. If he gets dropped he can’t afford the cobra. It might mean the difference between life or death. I don’t know. Lots of unknowns.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Wishing the best for your cousin-in-law. American medical treatment shines in shock-trauma and physical procedures like transplantation. She may very well live to see hearts grown and implanted.

  7. #7
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    I have a friend that was a super healthy exercise nut and he survived a widow maker heart attack. He had a heart transplant 6 years ago and is doing well. My friends 19 yo daughter died a few hours after getting a liver transplant. You just never know.

  8. #8
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    Agree with everyone that modern medical technology is awe-inspiring, and I'm sending my best wishes for a successful transplant to happen soon.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    Thank you for that also. One part of the concern is his healthcare. He doesn’t know how long his employer is going to continue keeping him enrolled. If he gets dropped he can’t afford the cobra. It might mean the difference between life or death. I don’t know. Lots of unknowns.
    My Cambodian coworker's father just had heart surgery thanks to you and me the American taxpayer. He isn't even a permanent resident. This is the latest of his and his wife's nonstop procedures on practically every part of their bodies. If you can get on Medicaid as an indigent you have no worries.

    I do understand the anti-immigrant frustrations of Trump's base.

  10. #10
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    He doesn’t know how long his employer is going to continue keeping him enrolled. If he gets dropped he can’t afford the cobra. It might mean the difference between life or death. I don’t know. Lots of unknowns.
    De-couple insurance from employment
    Universal healthcare

    Don't make me mad. That's ridiculous.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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