SOURCE: SynCardia Systems, Inc.

SynCardia Systems, Inc.

November 16, 2011 09:35 ET

USC Discharges 1st Total Artificial Heart Patient on the West Coast Using Freedom® Portable Driver

After Implant Surgery, 46-Year-Old Tammy Lumpkins Renewed Her Wedding Vows With Her Husband of 22 Years

TUCSON, AZ--(Marketwire - Nov 16, 2011) - SynCardia Systems, Inc. (, manufacturer of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart, announced today that on Nov. 9, Keck Hospital of the University of Southern California (USC) discharged the first Total Artificial Heart patient on the West Coast to wait for a matching donor heart at home using the Freedom® portable driver (watch video).

"I was ready to give up last summer," said 46-year-old Tammy Lumpkins, who can't wait to go shopping and visit Disneyland. "Now there's a light at the end of the tunnel and it's getting brighter."

Mrs. Lumpkins was first diagnosed with cardiomyopathy at age 28. Five years later, she had progressed to congestive heart failure. In and out of the hospital since 2010, she was admitted to Keck Hospital on Aug. 8 with severe heart failure that was causing her kidneys and liver to shut down. She had gained 60 pounds of water weight and was too sick for a transplant. She was scared she would die before getting to see her 19-year-old son graduate in December.

"To say she was on the brink of death was an understatement," said Dr. Michael Bowdish, her cardiothoracic surgeon at Keck Hospital and director of mechanical circulatory support. "When we put this device in, she was probably a matter of days to a week away from death."

Mrs. Lumpkins was implanted with the Total Artificial Heart on Sept. 26. After the implant surgery, she and her husband Dale renewed their wedding vows in her hospital room after 22 years of marriage.

"We needed to do this because I wanted to make sure that her new heart loved me as much as her old heart did," said Dale Lumpkins.

Mrs. Lumpkins is participating in the FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study of the Freedom portable driver. Weighing 13.5 pounds, the Freedom driver is the world's first wearable power supply for SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart.

Read article in the Los Angeles Times
Watch/read patient story from Keck Hospital of USC
View news stories on Tammy Lumpkins

CAUTION -- The Freedom® portable driver is an investigational device, limited by United States law to investigational use.

About the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart
SynCardia Systems, Inc. (Tucson, AZ) is the privately-held manufacturer of the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, the Total is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people dying from end-stage biventricular heart failure. More than 950 implants account for more than 230 patient years of life.

Similar to a heart transplant, SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves. It is the only device that eliminates the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular failure. The Total Artificial Heart provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through both ventricles. This high volume of safe blood flow helps speed the recovery of vital organs, helping make the patient a better transplant candidate.

In March 2011, Fast Company magazine ranked SynCardia #20 among the World's 50 Most Innovative Companies "for giving mobility to artificial heart recipients." Also in March, the longest running health and wellness series on public television, "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind," produced a 30-minute program featuring SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart. View here

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Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Don Isaacs
    Vice President of Communications
    SynCardia Systems, Inc.
    Cell: (520) 955-0660
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