This Man Walked 607 Miles with a Total Artificial Heart

When Chris’s heart began to fail, his only option for survival was the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH). While waiting for a heart transplant, he decided he wasn’t going to let his situation keep him from his passion: the great outdoors. Watch the video for his full, inspiring story.

Chris, an avid hiker and outdoorsman, began experiencing heart problems in 1999 when he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a degenerative heart muscle disease, and ventricular tachycardia, an irregular, fast heart beat. He was able to manage his condition and maintain an active lifestyle for more than a decade, but in 2011, Chris’s condition began to deteriorate rapidly.

Chris and his wife flew from their home in Alaska to University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle so he could be evaluated for a heart transplant. What was initially meant to be a two-day trip ended up being an eight-month fight for his life.

Chris’s doctors discovered that his heart was functioning at less than 10%. They didn’t think he’d survive the flight home. To save his life, his surgeons implanted the SynCardia TAH to bridge him to a heart transplant.

Watch the video below to learn how Chris hiked 607 miles without a human heart.

To read Chris’s full patient story, click here.