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Artificial Heart Patients Doing Well

One patient was near death before surgery

(HealthDay) -- The two men who received the world's first internal, self-contained artificial hearts are both doing well, reports CNN News.

Tom Christerson, 70, of Central City, Ky., is breathing well without ventilator support, and spending time each day sitting in a chair and taking short walks outside his room, says a statement by Jewish Hospital at the University of Louisville.

Robert Tools, 59, of Franklin, Ky., who received the first artificial heart in July, has been moved out of an intensive-care unit and is walking about, says the report.

Tools apparently was just days away from death when he learned about the development of the artificial heart in a Newsweek article that reporter Ann Underwood had helped write. She describes the personal satisfaction of meeting and shaking hands with Tools in this first-person account on MSNBC.

The heart device was developed by ABIOMED of Danvers, Mass.

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