True to my username, this next one hits very close to home. For the first time in our human history a man survives and continues to live on without a pulse! Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier of the Texas Heart Institute installed a mechanical device in place of a dying heart in Craig Lewis’ chest. The success of the operation is a revolutionary step in the medical world! The replacement artificial organ is composed of a device that uses blades to continuously pump blood through his body.
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How does one know if he is still alive? A pulse? First real life undead zombie? Not at all! This man is blessed with an extended life due to his mechanical heart replacement. And don’t worry, he wasn’t the doctors’ first subject to their heart-less procedure. It had previously been tested on animals and with overwhelming success, thus the doctors opted to perform the surgery on Craig to save his life.
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This exceptional feat opens up the floor to discussion on the use of artificial organs and how they could help humans survive and extend their lives. Some would argue morality issues, others would argue the fine line between cyborg and human. I however believe any new way of surviving and staying healthy should always be considered when facing a dire situation. Especially when on the verge of death.
His smile says it all. This man is very happy to be alive and well.
Although the invention and operation were a success, Craig only lived another 5 weeks after having the pumps put in. There was another man however in the Czech Republic who lived for 6 months with a similar pump while he was on a waiting list for a real heart.
There are multiple artificial heart designs floating around out there, but in order to commercialize this incredible invention the doctors must decide on a final design, find a manufacturer and get FDA approval. Fortunately, Dr. Frazer seems very optimistic about the current design, stating:
These pumps don’t wear out. We haven’t pumped one to failure to date.
Undoubtedly we can learn from this technology and use it to its full potential sometime in the future, but for now we learn and we continue to struggle. In the mean time, cheers to life!