SECOND ABIOCOR PATIENT IS GOING HOME
Tom Christerson travels to Central City
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville
surgeons Laman Gray, M.D., and Rob Dowling, M.D., will release
the world's second AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart
patient Tuesday to his home in Central City, Ky. Mr. Christerson
will hold a short press conference at 10:30 a.m. EDT in the Jefferson
Room at The Inn at Jewish Hospital, 100 E. Jefferson Street. He
will then depart for his home at 11 a.m. EDT.
On September 13, 2001 - 215 days ago
- Mr. Christerson underwent surgery at Jewish Hospital to implant
the AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart, manufactured by ABIOMED,
of Danvers, Mass. Mr. Christerson was the second person in the
world to receive the heart. (Surgery to implant the world's first
AbioCor replacement heart was also performed at Jewish Hospital
on July 2, 2001.)
"I'm so grateful to Jewish Hospital
and to Dr. Gray and Dr. Dowling. Everyone here has been wonderful
to me," Mr. Christerson said. "But I've been given a
second chance at life, and I can't wait to get home and begin
"This is a wonderful day for all
of us," Dr. Gray said. "This is what everyone involved
in the AbioCor project has hoped for and worked so hard to achieve."
"I'm thrilled for Tom and his
family," Dr. Dowling said. "He is doing very well medically
and emotionally. Today, his spirits are soaring. He is ready to
go home, and begin living a more normal life."
Friends in Central City will be ready
to greet Mr. Christerson in style. When he arrives around 1:30
p.m. CDT, a caravan of family and friends, escorted by the town's
fire truck, will meet up with his vehicle about two miles outside
of Central City and lead him into town and parade down Broad Street.
Preparations have been under way for
several months for Mr. Christerson's homecoming. His car has been
wired for electricity so that he can plug his device into a power
source while he's on the road. Also, Jewish Hospital nurses have
conducted training sessions to educate StatCare air ambulance
staff and other emergency medical services staff that may have
contact with Mr. Christerson should an emergency occur.
Mr. Christerson will return periodically
to Jewish Hospital for check ups and to meet with his physicians.
He will continue his physical therapy with a therapist in Central
The family asks that you give them
some privacy to enjoy their first few days at home. Any requests
for interviews should come through Jewish Hospital and University
of Louisville public relations staffs.
Jewish Hospital is among the
top ten cardiac centers in the United States and, along with the
University of Louisville, is dedicated to excellence, research
and education. University of Louisville surgeons at Jewish Hospital
have performed many heart care "firsts," including Kentucky's
first heart transplant, the world's first heart transplant following
the use of a Thoratec bi-ventricular assist device, the world's
first endoscopic saphenous vein harvest and the first ventricular
remodeling in the region.