World's second artificial heart patient marks
Tom Christerson's condition continues
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville
surgeons Laman Gray, M.D., and Rob Dowling, M.D. reported today
that Tom Christerson continues to improve as he reaches his six-month
milestone with the AbioCorä Implantable Replacement Heart,
manufactured by ABIOMED of Danvers, Mass. On September 13, Drs.
Gray and Dowling implanted the device in Mr. Christerson during
a landmark surgery at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, KY.
Drs. Gray and Dowling introduced Mr.
Christerson to the public in a press conference held yesterday
at the Jewish Hospital Heart and Lung Institute.
The physicians noted that Mr. Christerson,
70, continues to spend a great deal of his time out of his hospital
room, taking short trips and visiting with friends. He recently
attended a University of Louisville basketball game, where he
was honored as a Hometown Hero, and read to a group of kindergartners
and first graders at Wilt Elementary School during Celebrate Reading
Mr. Christerson continues to work with
a physical therapist from Frazier Rehab Institute each day. These
activities include muscle strengthening, walking, balancing and
sitting/standing maneuvers. This regimen is designed to improve
general conditioning, muscle strength and endurance.
"We're very pleased with the progress
Tom is making," Dr. Gray said. "Physically, he's making
"Tom has a very positive
attitude. He's working hard and staying focused on his goal of
leaving the hospital, and looking forward to celebrating his birthday
Saturday," said Dr. Dowling.