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The AbioCor Replacement Heart
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Laman A. Gray, Jr., M.D.
Robert D. Dowling, M.D.

News Releases

February 14, 2002
Linda McGinity Jackson,
Mary Jennings,
Kathy Keadle,

Surgeons update condition of second AbioCor heart patient
Tom Christerson Makes Continuous Strides In His Recovery

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville surgeons Laman Gray, M.D. and Rob Dowling, M.D., said today that Tom Christerson, recipient of the world's second artificial heart at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky., is making continuous strides in his recovery.

Background video of Mr. Christerson's activities will be up-linked live via satellite coordinates Ku-Band SBS 6, Transponder 3, Horizontal Frequency 11774 Mhz. The audio frequency is 6.80/6.20 Mhz. The signal will be available from 3:15-3:30 p.m. (EDT), Thursday, Feb. 14.

"I'm feeling good, and I'm looking forward to getting out of the hospital," said Mr. Christerson.

Mr. Christerson does physical therapy every day at Frazier Rehab Institute, a rehab center adjacent to the hospital. He is now able to walk unassisted and without effort. He also does exercises each day to improve his upper body strength and works to lengthen the time he can carry the batteries he uses with the device. Mr. Christerson also goes on outings each day. His travels thus far have taken him to the Sport Boat and Vacation Show at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, luncheons at local restaurants and The Inn at Jewish Hospital.

"We're delighted with Tom's recovery. He's been improving and working hard in physical therapy," said Dr. Dowling. "He has maintained a positive mental outlook and taken a healthy approach to his recovery."

"Tom is getting stronger each day. He's enjoying his time with family and friends. And he enjoys getting out and going places," said Dr. Gray.

Mr. Christerson underwent surgery to implant the AbioCor heart Sept. 13. Today marks the 154th day he has lived with the device, manufactured by ABIOMEDâ of Danvers, Mass. "I'm having a wonderful time," Mr. Christerson said. "I've received excellent care. Jewish Hospital has the best nurses anywhere."

Jewish Hospital is among the top 10 cardiac centers in the United States and along with the University of Louisville, is dedicated to excellence, research and education. For more information, please visit


©2001 Jewish Hospital, University of Louisville Health Sciences Center, ABIOMED, Inc.
Jewish Hospital University of Louisville Health Sciences Center