Heart Pump Anniversary Brings British Man to Texas

The Texas Heart Institute is celebrating the five year anniversary of a life-saving procedure for a British man.

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Peter Houghton lives in Birmingham, England and is 66 years old. He holds the Guinness World Record as the longest surviving person with heart failure to be supported by the Jarvik 2000 heart pump. In 1995 Houghton had a heart attack and by 2000 his heart failure was almost complete.

A team of surgeons from the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital flew to England where they performed a surgery to implant the Jarvik in Houghton. He was the first person in the United Kingdom to receive the pump and five years later is still enjoying his restored health. He decided to come to Texas this week for a complete evaluation of his progress.

The Jarvik 2000 fits into the left ventricle and pushes oxygenated blood throughout the body. It's attached to a battery pack that straps around the waist. Because the technology is so new, it's not known how long the pump can be expected to function. Dr. Reynolds Delgado is a heart failure cardiologist and one of the physicians who treated Houghton. He says Houghton has made a good recovery and can expect to live several more years, although he will always require the Jarvik pump.

Houghton says he is now a patient advocate for others dealing with heart failure and works with several organizations to promote heart failure research. He says he plans his life one year at a time and doesn't ever take it for granted.

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