Ronald Smith and his wife, Ryvette, share a smile before leaving the Medical Center.
The second person to receive an experimental Jarvik 2000 heart pump at the University of Maryland Medical Center went home today. Ronald C. Smith, 54, of Clinton, MD, had the pump implanted on December 12.
The thumb-sized, battery-powered heart pump in his left ventricle is keeping him alive while he waits for a heart transplant. Mr. Smith is only the second person in the United States to go home with a Jarvik 2000 pump to await a transplant. The first, Woodrow Snelson, left the University of Maryland Medical Center on November 8 and continues to do well.
Mr. Smith, who has suffered from congestive heart failure for more than 20 years, says he feels good, and has more energy now. "I was like a dead man walking when I came to the hospital, but I didn't realize how sick I was until I received the heart pump. It's a true blessing to have been afforded a second chance."
The Jarvik 2000 heart pump produces continuous blood flow, but not a pulse. It was designed by Dr. Robert Jarvik, inventor of the Jarvik 7 artificial heart, to reduce the risk of clotting and infection associated with older heart pumps. Unlike other types of pumps, the Jarvik 2000's small size could help thinner adults and children with heart failure, a condition that affects nearly five million Americans. About 550,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
For patient inquiries, call 1-800-492-5538 or click here to make an appointment.