British grandfather fitted with life-saving miniature heart pump in world-first op
The titanium pump – which weighs just 12 ounces – rotates nine times faster than an electric drill
09:12 GMT, 17 August 2012
A grandfather has become the first person in the world to be fitted with a miniature version of a life-saving heart pump.
Barry Wade, 60, was left with advanced heart failure after a scuba diving accident eight years ago.
Doctors at Wythenshawe Hospital had already tried corrective surgery – but his condition continued to worsen. Barry was considered too ill to undergo heart-transplant surgery and his future looked bleak.
But he was offered a lifeline in the form of a revolutionary heart pump, called Heartmate2. Unlike a pacemaker – which simply regulates the heart's beat – the Heartmate 2 circulates blood around the body.
Barry Wade, 60, pictured with cardiologist Steve Shaw, has suffered with advanced heart failure since a scuba diving accident eight years ago
The Heartmate 2 has a back up battery in case Mr Wade disconnects the power by accident
Wythenshawe Hospital is one of only 12 centres to trial the device, which was developed in the US. They fitted the device on Tuesday.
Mr Wade is the first person anywhere in the world to get a special miniaturised version, which is less intrusive and more sophisticated. The Titanium pump – which weighs just 12 ounces – rotates nine times faster than an electric drill.
The grandfather-of-five has responded so well to the procedure he is expected to return home to Chelford, near Macclesfield, this week.
He said: 'It's been a tough eight years but I hope all that is behind me now. I have a new chance of life and I am looking forward to the birth of my new grandson next month. I feel very privileged to have been chosen to pioneer this remarkable device.'
Barry can keep track of power consumption and blood flow on the device
Dr Steve Shaw, consultant cardiologist at Wythenshawe Hospital, worked with a team of doctors and nurses to fit the pump – a smaller and more sophisticated version of an earlier model.
He said: 'The refined features of the Heartmate2 include computer technology which will allow Barry to read out power consumption and blood flow if he is feeling unwell to alert doctors.
'There is also a built-in back-up battery in case he accidentally disconnects the power.'
Prof Nizar Yonan, director of transplant at Wythenshawe Hospital, said the Heartmate 2 could be used to support patients while they wait for a donor heart or, as in Barry's case, as a permanent option.
He said: 'We are keeping Barry in hospital for a couple of days for observation and tests, but we are really pleased with his progress.'