Second artificial heart patient fitted with portable heart driver
9 Nov 2010
A 45-year-old man has become only the second patient in the US
to be discharged from hospital fitted with the Freedom portable driver
to power his SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart.
Troy Golden, a pastor from Geary, Oklahoma was discharged from
INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center on 18 October to wait for a matching
donor heart at home with his family and friends.
Golden is participating in an FDA-approved Investigational Device
Exemption (IDE) clinical study of the 13.5 lb Freedom driver, the
first portable driver designed to power SynCardia’s Total Artificial
Heart both inside and outside the hospital. The IDE clinical study
is designed to demonstrate that the Freedom driver is a suitable
pneumatic driver for stable Total Artificial Heart patients and can
be safely used at home.
“I'm ecstatic to go home,” Golden told the media on the day of
his discharge. “I'm ecstatic that this artificial heart has given me
a chance to wait for a heart transplant.
“If this new technology can help prolong the lives of others
suffering from end-stage heart failure and I can play a small role
in it, then it will all be worth it."
Currently, the only FDA-approved driver for powering the Total
Artificial Heart is the 418 lb “Big Blue” hospital driver. Patients
supported by Big Blue are confined to the hospital until they
receive a heart transplant.
Golden was born with a genetic condition called Marfan syndrome
that has been slowly attacking his heart since birth. In 2006, he
underwent an aortic valve replacement, an aortic root repair, a
mitral valve replacement and the Maze rhythm procedure on his
In January, he was put on the heart transplant list, but his
condition continued to deteriorate, until he could barely raise his
head off his pillow. On Sept. 15, his heart was replaced with the
Total Artificial Heart as a bridge to a transplant. Within a month,
Golden’s condition was stable enough for him to be discharged home.
“This is almost like performing a resurrection,” said Dr. James
Long, cardiovascular surgeon and director of the INTEGRIS Advanced
Cardiac Care program. “This is taking someone who was checking out
and giving them life, and life abundantly.”