Severe Thunderstorm Warning expires at 7:00 PM on 9/2, issued at 6:08 PM Allen, KY | Ary, KY | Auxier, KY | Avawam, KY

UK First In State To Implant Total Artificial Heart

Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Share
Updated: 3/05/2012 11:23 pm
     It's helping Zack Poe live.

     "I feel a million times better," says Zack.

     The 20-year-old from Maysville is the state's first patient to receive the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart.  The procedure was performed in February at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. 

     "The operation went really smoothly.  Zack was off the breathing tube the next day and was up and walking around within several days and has had a remarkable recovery," explains UK surgeon Dr. Mark Plunkett.

     Now, Zack is able to speak publicly for the first time since that life-prolonging procedure.

     "I feel better now and I've been able to walk longer without pain than I have in months," comments Zack.

     "If you would've seen him before the 3 weeks ago, that there's no way you would have told me he would be sitting there feeling this good.  So, I'll never be able to thank UK enough," says Zack's father, Tony Poe.

     But,  Zack still needs a new heart.

     "This is basically a bridge to transplantation.  It's not a permanent replacement for him," explains UK surgeon, Dr. Charles Hoopes.

     "People that have to wait for transplants don't have the opportunity to necessarily live until that transplant happens.  They have months and years now while they can wait," says Zack.

     Zack is on a waiting list for a heart donation.  His father is making plea to people in the community to become organ donors, so they can save lives, like his son's.

     "Please everyone, this is also about donors.  This is keeping him alive but we really need to focus more on the donor program," comments Tony.

     Zack hopes he doesn't have to wait too long.  While he does, he jokes that his new artificial heart will comfort him.

     "It actually lulls me to sleep sometimes because I know I was still alive." jokes Zack.

     The University of Kentucky is one of only 29 medical centers in the nation that are certified to perform total artificial heart transplants.  A second UK patient underwent successful Total Artificial Heart implantation last Wednesday. The patient is currently recovering in the hospital and doing well.


Share
1 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

bhavana - 3/6/2012 7:20 AM
0 Votes
"This article reminds me of a documentary ""The Heart of Jenin"" which talks about the 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Ahmed Khatib, is shot by an Israeli soldier whilst playing with a plastic gun in the refugee camp Jenin. The father, Ismael, decides to donate his son‘s organs to Israeli children. To watch the documentary online visit: http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/5234/"
Most Popular
More than 30 teens escape from detention center
A spokesman says more than 30 teens escaped from a Nashville, Tenn. youth detention center and 17 are still being sought.
Former High School Football Coach Charged with Sodomy, Sexual Abuse
According to deputies in Pulaski County, a former high school football coach has been arrested on charges of sodomy and sexual abuse.
Coroner: Elderly Mercer Co. Couple Die in Apparent Murder-Suicide
The Mercer County Coroner has confirmed that an elderly couple were found dead in their home Sunday night following an apparent murder-suicide.
Police: Shots Fired Near Lexington School
Lexington Police said shots were fired Monday afternoon near Lafayette High School. Although school had been out for the Labor Day holiday, youth football tournament was being held at Lafayette. Video Video
Police: One In Critical Condition After Shooting
A man was critically injured during a shooting in Shelby County Monday night. Video Video
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
   

WTVQ.com supports children's privacy rights. All persons under the age of 13 MUST have parental permission to use this website and direct parental supervision is strongly recommended.