Barry Wade, a British sexagenarian, survived a breakthrough operation to get the world’s first battery powered heart pump. The 3 inch titanium heart pump, called Heartmate II, was fitted by a team at University Hospital of South Machester’s Wythenshawe Hospital. The operation was helmed by Steve Shaw, consultant cardiologist at UHSM. The operation provided a new lease of life to Wade who was too ill to survive a heart transplant surgery, thus ruling out using pacemaker or corrective heart surgery as alternatives. “I have a new chance of life and I am looking forward to the birth of my new grandson next month. I feel privileged to pioneer this device,” said Wade, a resident of Macclesfield, Cheshire, and a father to four.
The new pump is a miniature, but more sophisticated version of the initial version of Heartmate. Shaw explained, “The refined features of the Heartmate 2 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.” The pump is charged by 2 portable batteries which are carried in the patient’s shoulder bag. This landmark device, also known as Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), weighs around 12 ounces and costs £100,000.