Man Is World's First to Leave Hospital with Artificial Heart

(YouTube Link)

Charles Okeke of Arizona has an artificial heart the size of a backpack. It's called the Freedom Driver and was developed by SynCardia Systems. With this device, Okeke was able to leave the confines of a hospital for the first time in two years:

The device requires pressurized air from an external machine called “Big Blue,” and the bulk and size of the 190 kg machine has until now prevented recipients from leaving hospital. In the case of Charles Okeke a smaller 6.1 kg version of the pressurizing machine, dubbed “Freedom Driver,” has been used, and this is small enough to fit in a backpack.

Okeke must wear the backpack at all times, but it has at least given him the freedom to leave hospital and go home, after already spending over 600 days in the Mayo Clinic wired up to Big Blue. Okeke’s heart failed after a blood clot “destroyed his heart” and had a heart transplant that lasted around 10 years before his body rejected it.

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