Man able to live for two years with artificial heart

Matthew Green, 42, survives with an external blood pump after the removal of his own diseased heart

After having his diseased heart removed, a British man has set a new record for surviving with an artificial device.

Matthew Green, 42, a pharmaceutical consultant who lives with his wife and seven-year-old son in London, was diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes the heart muscles to stop pumping in rhythm.

Green was hours from death in July 2011 when his heart failed as a result of the condition. He agreed to an experimental procedure at Papworth hospital, Cambridgeshire to totally remove his heart and connect his blood vessels to an external pump until a donor could be found.

Two years on, Green, who is 6ft 3in, was finally able to get a new heart, after a sufficiently powerful one could be found from a donor of a similar size. He is still in hospital, but doctors are hopeful he can return home soon.

The cause of his condition is not fully understood, although it is thought to be passed on genetically.

"I feel incredibly lucky that I have been given a third lease of life as a result of my heart transplant," Green told the Sunday Times.

"It's hard to put into words the gratitude I feel to my donor and their family. They have helped me turn my life around again."

Green's artificial heart was slightly larger than his original organ, and weighed just over 170 grams - but had to be powered by a pump on a trolley. Green was able to go outside for up to three hours at a time by using a portable 6kg battery-powered pump in a rucksack.

Green added: "I want to thank all the amazing staff at Papworth hospital who have cared for me and I want to urge anyone who is thinking of registering on the NHS organ donor register to do it."

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