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First Artificial Heart

Published: 1984
Play UPI Radio 1984
Jenny Cossola: Doctors were certain that William Schroeder of Jasper, Indiana wouldn't live through the weekend. Schroeder returned to Humana Hospital Audubon in Louisville, Kentucky, where he had received heart-bypass surgery two years earlier and on November 25th was given an artificial heart. Schroeder was only the second permanent artificial-heart recipient; the first, Barney Clark, survived 112 days.

Dr. Robert Jarvik, developer of the heart, spoke with reporters after the Schroeder operation …

Dr. Robert Jarvik: "There was not any crisis, as had occurred with Dr. Clark. There was never a point here with Mr. Schroeder when we felt we might lose him."

Jenny Cossola: According to Dr. Allan Lansing, chairman of the Humana Heart Institute who participated in the implant operation, Schroeder's family, as well as Schroeder himself, felt the operation was his only alternative …

Dr. Allan Lansing: "I would say that the family are extremely thankful, relieved, a few tears and very much convinced that he would not have been here even a few more days unless something had been done."

Jenny Cossola: It was only a little more than a week after the operation that Schroeder spoke to the world on a videotape …

William Schroeder: "My goals is just to be the same way as I was when I was 40 years old (laughing). I really do, I really feel like I can get out of here and go fish -- fishing, watch a ballgame."

Jenny Cossola: Schroeder said he felt no pain and no discomfort from the heart. He described it as feeling like a 'threshing machine'.

This is Jenny Cossola.

© 1984 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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