A 54-year-old Italian man has become the first patient to surpass 1,000 days of support with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart while waiting for a matching donor heart.
"Life is a wonderful present that has to be respected," said Total Artificial Heart patient Pietro Zorzetto. "The Total Artificial Heart allowed me to recover to a very healthy physical condition. I really want to thank the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart for these unexpected 1,000 days of life."
Mr. Zorzetto was first admitted to Azienda Ospedaliera di Padova on Nov. 30, 2007, suffering from valvular cardiomyopathy. Two previous operations at a different hospital had failed to repair his failing heart. Less than a week later, on Dec. 6, 2007, Mr. Zorzetto made history when he became the first patient in Italy to be implanted with the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart.
"The Total Artificial Heart provides excellent cardiac output, which restored our patient to normal condition despite the fact he presented with severe multi-organ failure," said Prof. Gino Gerosa. "The Total Artificial Heart in combination with the portable driver has been extremely effective in providing the patient with a good quality of life with excellent exercise capacity."
Mr. Zorzetto has been enjoying life at home since Feb. 4, 2008, when he was discharged from the hospital using a portable driver to power his Total Artificial Heart. On a typical day, he walks 10 km and then exercises for an additional 30 minutes in his gym at home to stay in shape for a transplant.