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Former firefighter lives without pulse for 6 months

Jakub Halik, a former Czech firefighter is the only man in the world to have two artificial pumps working side by side instead of a heart


LONDON — A 37-year-old fireman from Czech Republic became the first man to live without a pulse for six months after having his heart removed and replaced by mechanical pumps on April 3.

Jakub Halik has said that he is able to live "like a healthy man."

Image Texas Heart Institute
Jakub Halik has a very similar dual-heart pump device implanted in his body.
Image Texas Heart Institute Jakub Halik has a very similar dual-heart pump device implanted in his body.

The fireman became only the second man to undergo the procedure - the first man who underwent the procedure died a month after surgery in Texas last year.

The father-of-one still lives in the hospital and is confined to his wheelchair for much of the day but said that he is lucky to be alive.

Halik is hoping to receive a donor heart and eventually return to the force.

He had to undergo the extraordinary surgery after he was diagnosed with an aggressive tumour growing inside his heart a standard transplant was a no-no for him as the drugs that he would require afterwards cannot be taken by cancer patients, the Daily Mail reported.

So, on April 3 this year his heart was removed in an eight-hour operation led by Czech cardiologist Jan Pirk.

The doctors placed two modified Heartmate 2 pumps inside his body.

"It was hard for me but I didn't have any other chance at all. It was acknowledged that with the tumour I can survive for about one year and I decided to fight and do it this way," Halik said.

However, there is one thing the pumps cannot replicate that is the pulse.

"I don't even realize it, because the functions of the body are the same, only my heart is not beating and I have no pulse anymore," Halik said.

"This is the only difference but otherwise I am functioning like a healthy man at present," he revealed.

Halik must carry a battery that supplies power to the pumps, with him wherever he goes. But he isn't bed-bound.

Copyright 2012 Asian News International (ANI)
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