Today’s Artificial Hearts Go With the Flow

Who says a heart has to go “thump”? Why not “whizzz”? A new generation of artificial hearts does just that. Today’s continuous flow ventricular assist devices (or VADs) have emerged as one of the few effective treatments for heart failure. They offer hope to late-stage patients who cannot receive or access a transplantable donor heart. … Read More

Going Home: New Year, New Heart Episode 7

Around two weeks after Garrettsville, Ohio, teen Porter Lyons was flown to Cleveland Clinic, and about a week after he received a new heart, he was ready to go home. The family was blown away to be going home so soon after such a life-changing event. Porter’s life was saved in a matter of two … Read More

The Recovery: New Year, New Heart Episode 6

Somebody else’s heart was beating inside Porter Lyons’ chest. Six days after his surgery, Porter was having a little trouble wrapping his mind around that concept. Everything that had happened in the past two weeks — the sudden onset of serious symptoms, the emergency helicopter ride, the wait for a new heart, the surgery — … Read More

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Starting a Heart: New Year, New Heart Episode 4

Around 3 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2011, surgeon Nicholas Smedira, MD, began a heart transplant for Garrettsville, Ohio, teen Porter Lyons, who had been flown by emergency helicopter on Christmas Eve when the symptoms of his inherited cardiomyopathy became too serious to ignore. The surgery went smoothly because Porter was young and had not had … Read More

Finding a Heart: New Year, New Heart Episode 3

At 2 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2011, Doug Lyons’ thoughts were drifting. He thought about the Christmas dinner his family had missed when his son Porter was rushed to Cleveland Clinic with a failing heart. He thought of the Cleveland Browns-Baltimore Ravens game he and Porter were planning to attend. Most of all, he hoped … Read More

The Wait: New Year, New Heart Episode 2

“Just waiting, that’s the hardest part,” said Porter Lyons from his bed at Cleveland Clinic in late December. He was waiting for news of a new heart. His was failing because of cardiomyopathy. “You don’t know when it’s going to happen. They can come in any time and say, ‘Hey, we got one for you.’ … Read More

Flight for Life: New Year, New Heart Episode 1

On Christmas Eve 2011, Porter Lyons was spending a quiet holiday playing board games with his family in Garrettsville, Ohio. He had been fighting what he thought was a bad cold or pneumonia. When it got so bad he couldn’t breathe anymore, he knew it was something worse. He told his father, Doug, that he … Read More

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New Year, New Heart: A Transplant Story

On Christmas Eve 2011, high school senior Porter Lyons couldn’t breathe or slow his racing heart — which was twice as large as it should be. Over the course of a week, his life would change because of a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, the same diagnosis his father faced 25 years earlier. He and his family … Read More

One LVAD patient is paying it forward

Barbara Ann Colvin of Columbus, Ohio, calls herself the “LVAD Diva” and says she is on a journey to help the disadvantaged take charge of their lifestyle choices. In 2010 at the age of 55, Ms Colvin was given six months to a year to live. She had been in and out of hospitals for … Read More