The Implantable Artificial Heart Project
Press Conferences
News Releases
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Images and Diagrams
The AbioCor Replacement Heart
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Images and Diagrams
The Researchers
Laman A. Gray, Jr., M.D.
Robert D. Dowling, M.D.

News Releases

September 10, 2002
Linda McGinity Jackson,
Kathy Keadle,
Mary Jennings,

Tom Christerson To Mark Occasion At Party with Jewish Hospital/UofL AbioCor Team

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Artificial heart patient Tom Christerson will celebrate the anniversary of his landmark surgery on Sept.13 with the Jewish Hospital nurses and staff who helped care for him and his University of Louisville surgeons Laman Gray, M.D. and Rob Dowling, M.D.

Mr. Christerson underwent surgery Sept.13, 2001, becoming the second person in the world to receive the AbioCor™ Implantable Replacement Heart, manufactured by ABIOMED of Danvers, Mass. Mr. Christerson is now the longest living and only surviving AbioCor heart recipient. He is also the first artificial heart patient to go home.

Members of the press are invited to share in the celebration with Mr. Christerson from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Conference Center at the Rudd Heart and Lung Center. Neither he nor his family members will be granting interviews. Media will be able to photograph or video Mr. Christerson’s interaction with the staff and his physicians.

Mr. Christerson and his family have received a number of requests for interviews. They have decided to accommodate all the requests as best they can by releasing background video. The b-roll will contain comments from Mr. Christerson and his daughter, Patti Pryor. The footage will also include previously-released coverage of Mr. Christerson during his physical therapy and enjoying time with friends in Central City.

Release Details

In the b-roll, Mr. Christerson will reflect on the year with the device. He will talk about such things as his time with the device: “I didn’t have any idea it would last this long. I thought it would give me another six months. But I got a year so far.” He also talked about having a second chance: “I’m tickled to death with it.”

The b-roll interview of Mr. Christerson will be available at Jewish Hospital’s public relations office at 410 S. First Street on Sept.12 from 9 a.m. to noon. Local news stations should work with their national affiliate stations. The b-roll interview segment will be the only interview available with Mr. Christerson.
The Sept. 13, 2002 celebration, b-roll and a briefing from the physicians will be up-linked via satellite coordinates Ku-Band SBS 6, Transponder 5, Horizontal Frequency 11823 MHZ. The audio frequency is 6.20/6.80. The signal will be available from 2:30-3 p.m. (EST), Friday, Sept. 13.


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