Video: Father first in UK to get artificial heart
A father has become the first person in Britain to have a completely artificial heart that allows him to leave hospital and live a relatively normal life at home.
Matthew Green (40), who was dying from a severe heart disease, was awaiting a transplant when his condition quickly worsened and doctors decided to take action. Instead of a real heart, the research scientist was given a £100,000 (€114,757) artificial replacement.
Doctors have implanted mechanical hearts in the past but they have usually only replaced parts of the organ, and the patient needed to be plugged in permanently to a machine in hospital.
With his portable heart, developed in America, Mr Green will be able to return home, walk the streets, and may even resume his nine-mile cycle to work.
Scientists believe that artificial organs could replace the transplant of real ones.
Yesterday, Mr Green and his wife, Gill, said they were looking forward to resuming normal family life in London with their five-year-old son, Dylan. Mr Green said: "Two years ago I was cycling nine miles to work and nine miles back every day but by the time I was admitted to hospital I was struggling to walk.
"I went for a pub lunch the other day and my son is just glad to have his dad back."
Mr Green suffered from a heart wasting disease called cardiomyopathia, which rapidly destroyed the organ's ability to pump blood around the body.
His only hope was a heart transplant but his condition worsened before a suitable donor became available.
Doctors at Papworth Hospital, the heart centre near Cambridge, in England decided he needed a full artificial heart.
It provides a blood flow of up to 9.5 litres, about twice the rate of a normal heart when the body is at rest. Unlike previous artificial hearts, the new one is powered by a pump which sits outside the body and can be held in a backpack or shoulder bag. (© Daily Telegraph, London)