Total Artificial Heart Patient Enjoys Spotlight as "The Only Man in Turkey Who Lives Without a Heart" - Omer Bayrak Takes Stage During Total Artificial Heart Session at Turkish Society for Artificial Organs and Support Systems Meeting.
Omer Bayrak made headlines when he became the first patient in Turkey to be discharged from the hospital using the Freedom® portable driver to power his SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. Since returning home to wait for a matching donor heart, Mr. Bayrak has been enjoying his new-found celebrity as "the only man in Turkey who lives without a heart."
On Sept. 17, after almost 180 days of support with SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart, Mr. Bayrak attended the annual meeting of the Turkish Society for Artificial Organs and Support Systems (TUYOD). During a session about the Total Artificial Heart, he was invited to the stage and the audience asked him several questions. He responded that he was "doing really well and very comfortable with SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart." He also added that he is continuing his daily life with very few limitations, and has returned to work.
Mr. Bayrak is also currently featured on an eight-story tall billboard on Florence Nightingale Hospital in Istanbul. In English, the billboard reads, "The only man in Turkey who lives without a heart but with an artificial heart. Florence Nightingale Heart Transplant and Total Artificial Heart Center."
Prior to receiving SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart, Mr. Bayrak had been suffering from congestive heart failure since 2001. Four years ago, he underwent cardiac resynchronization therapy and received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Last year, he was hospitalized 11 times for inotropic support.
For 15 days prior to receiving SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart, Mr. Bayrak had been in the cardiac intensive care unit. He was on the urgent list for heart transplantation but his cardiac function continued to worsen. As a result, on March 21, 2011, he became the hospital's first patient to receive SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart.
Three months later, on May 20, 2011, Mr. Bayrak was discharged from the hospital to wait for a matching donor heart at home using the Freedom portable driver, the world's first wearable power supply for SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart. The Freedom portable driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S.
SynCardia recognizes and thanks Ufuk Yaranli and Natura Medikal Urunler Ltd., the Turkish distributor for the Total Artificial Heart, for their commitment and on-going support of Florence Nightingale Hospital.
CAUTION - The Freedom® portable driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.
About the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart - SynCardia Systems, Inc. (Tucson, AZ) is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, the Total is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people dying from end-stage bi-ventricular heart failure. More than 950 implants account for more than 230 patient years of life.
Similar to a heart transplant, SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves. It is the only device that eliminates the symptoms and source of end-stage bi-ventricular failure. The Total Artificial Heart provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through both ventricles. This high volume of safe blood flow helps speed the recovery of vital organs, helping make the patient a better transplant candidate.
In March 2011, Fast Company magazine ranked SynCardia #20 among the World's 50 Most Innovative Companies "for giving mobility to artificial heart recipients." Also in March, the longest running health and wellness series on public television, "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind," produced a 30-minute program featuring SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart at www.syncardia.com/News/healthy-body-healthy-mind-on-public-broadcasting-pbs.html