A Milestone for a Heart Throb

Man passes three-year mark with mechanical ticker

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Pete Kenyon just celebrated a remarkable anniversary -- he's been living for three years with a mechanical heart beating in his chest. That's longer than any other American has lived with an artificial heart, reports this wire story on Canada's C-Health.

The 63-year-old Connecticut man has been waiting for years to get a heart transplant. His blood type and body size have made the search for a donor heart more difficult. And, now that he's living so well with his mechanical heart, he has been pushed even farther down the transplant list.

In lab tests, the type of artificial heart Kenyon has -- called a Novacor -- has lasted about five years, which means he'll need a replacement sometime in the future.

The Novacor isn't a complete mechanical heart, it only takes over the work of the left ventricle. The patient's natural heart controls the way the mechanical pump contracts, says the article. And, Kenyon must wear a battery pack at all times. Each battery is only good for about three-and-a-half hours.

This article from USA TODAY details the history of the artificial heart.

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