When Pat was admitted to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, he was facing a dire situation that had become all too familiar for his family.
Pat was born with idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis (IHSS), a genetic condition in which there is a thickening of the heart ventricle. The disease had already claimed the life of one of his brothers at the age of 38.
When Pat was admitted to the hospital, he couldn’t breathe after any type of exertion. His voice was weak and his fingernails had turned blue. His heart, liver and kidneys began to fail. Doctors told him he only had a few months to live. At the time, he was too weak to receive a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) or to be put on the heart transplant waiting list.
With Pat’s condition rapidly declining, IU Health Methodist cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. I-wen Wang, who specializes in heart and lung transplantation and heart devices, recommended the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH).
Pat agreed to the implant surgery, driven by his desire to watch his grandchildren grow up and to help other people with heart failure. Pat’s TAH implant was the first performed in Indiana.
After 154 days of support, he received a donor heart transplant.