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German man lives 615 Days with Bridged-to-Transplant artificial heart

Bobby Dhawan, 51, owns a successful taxi service in Germany. He usually does not allow any bumper stickers on his cabs, but he recently made on except...

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|Jan 27|magazine6 min read

Bobby Dhawan, 51, owns a successful taxi service in Germany. He usually does not allow any bumper stickers on his cabs, but he recently made on exception. The sticker reads, “Don’t take your organs to heaven - heaven knows we need them here!”

Dhawan received a donor heart transplant last August after living for 615 days with a SynCardia temporary CardioWest™ Total Artificial Heart. For over year, Dhawan enjoyed life at home with his family and even went back to work, using the European portable driver to power his Total Artificial Heart.

“With the Total Artificial Heart, my health was so good and I felt so strong. I told myself, ‘I don’t want a human heart anymore, I want to keep my Total Artificial Heart,’ ” said Dhawan. “Today, however, I think the donor heart transplant is the best thing I’ve ever done. I feel like a newborn person.”

First diagnosed with an enlarged heart in 1996, Dhawan endured ten years of the cycle of getting sick, then getting better then doing it all over again. Finally in 2007, Dhawan lost consciousness while driving and crashed into a wall at 80 km (50 miles) per hour. When he arrived at the hospital, doctors told him his heartbeat was irregular and extremely high, around 180-200 beats per minute.

He was sent to the Heart & Diabetes Center NRW in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany where doctors told him that if they didn’t implant the Total Artificial Heart, he would die within the next 48 hours.

“The Total Artificial Heart not only saved my life, it saved my family’s future,” said Dhawan of the experience. “My taxi company has 17 cars and 35 drivers, and my wife wouldn’t have been able to run the business alone. Today, my donor heart is working really well and I am back running my business. Other than having to take anti-rejection medication, I feel really great.”

The Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to human heart transplant for people dying from end-stage biventricular failure and is the only device that provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 L/min through both ventricles. To date, there have been more than 800 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 180 patient years of life on the device.

For additional information, please visit: www.syncardia.com

Edited by Gabe Perna