SEATTLE, Washington — The man who received the world’s first totally artificial heart in a March transplant at the University of Washington Medical Center finally received a real heart Wednesday morning, the Seattle Times reports.
Christopher Marshall, who hails from Wasilla, Alaska, suffers from a deteriorative heart condition known as cardiomyopathy. Doctors replaced his failing heart in March with the world’s first totally artificial heart, allowing him to walk out of UW Medical Center without confining him to a hospital bed, plugged into a weighty machine.
However, the heart was only a temporary measure, meant to sustain Marshall until a donor heart could be found.
Doctors found a donor heart for Marshall Tuesday night, said the Times. Wednesday morning at about 10:30 a.m, Marshall underwent a transplant operation at UW Medical Center.
Seven hours later, Marshall lay in Intensive Care Unit with a new heart, the Times reported. The operation went smoothly and more quickly than expected — a typical operation takes 10 to 12 hours — and Marshall is in stable condition.
Marshall will remain in the hospital for a few more weeks, then stay in the vicinity of the UW hospital for several more months, according to the Times. He will be closely monitored to ensure his heart continues working properly without failure or infection.
About 50 patients in the United States are being tested with the heart that powered Marshall for 6 months, the Times reported.