Patient Story Spotlight: Danny, 37

After being diagnosed with heart failure, Danny received a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) to help his failing heart pump more blood — but six weeks later, a blood clot formed in the pump and he was rushed back to the hospital.

When Danny began experiencing fatigue and nausea at the age of 33, he knew something was wrong. It took several years and multiple hospital visits before he was finally diagnosed with heart failure.

To treat his condition, Danny’s doctors implanted an LVAD to help the left side of his heart pump enough blood to keep his organs functioning properly; however, six weeks later, a blood clot formed inside the pump and he was rushed back to the hospital. His doctors informed him that his only option for survival was to remove the LVAD and replace his failing heart with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH).

Following the TAH implant surgery, Danny noticed a difference right away. “When I woke up, I felt a lot better immediately. The LVAD didn’t do anything for me because I was too sick, but I felt better with the Total Artificial Heart. I could breathe again, I could walk again. I actually felt decent again. I didn’t feel good all the time, but I felt 10 times better than I did before.”

Once stable, Danny was switched to the Freedom® Portable Driver, a smaller, lighter pump for the TAH, and discharged from the hospital to wait for a matching donor heart at home with his family. During that time, he was able to go for walks and drives, attend a Seattle Seahawks preseason game, go out to dinner and attend his brother’s wedding — all without a human heart in his body.

After 316 days of life with the TAH, Danny received the heart transplant he’d been waiting for. Thanks to the team at University of Washington (UW) Medical Center and the SynCardia TAH, Danny got to watch his oldest daughter, Kaylee, graduate from college and walk her down the aisle at her wedding. He now has two grandsons. — read Danny’s full story here.

Danny Wedding | SynCardia