Man hikes 607 miles with artificial heart by Tucson manufacturer - Tucson News Now

Man hikes 607 miles with artificial heart by Tucson manufacturer

Photo by Clare McLean Photo by Clare McLean
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A hiker with an artificial heart received a transplant after hiking 607 miles.

Chris Marshall received the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart in February. SynCardia Systems, Inc. is a Tucson business that manufactures the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved artificial heart.

Before receiving his new heart in September, Marshall walked 607 miles with the artificial heart. 

"That's very different from a lot of people who go into the transplant really sick. After the surgery, they not only have to recover from the transplant, but also from being sick for so long leading up to it," he said in a release by SynCardia.

He was the first patient in the Pacific Northwest to be discharged back in February after receiving the artificial heart. Exercise was a priority to Marshall after being discharged.

"Don't go home and stay cooped up. You need to get out and take advantage of the time you have to get in shape to prepare for the transplant surgery and live life. Some people are afraid. The only thing they want to do is be home or go to the clinic for visits, but for me, that's not living life," he said. 

Marshall was diagnosed in 1999 with cardiomyopathy, a disease that destroys heart muscle over time, and ventricular tachycardia, an irregular and fast heartbeat. 

Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved. 

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