Living with an Artificial Heart for One Year, Goran Spirov is Driving, Walking and Enjoying Everyday Life
Feeling great a year after the intervention, Goran Spirov from Shtip is still waiting for the moment when he receives a human heart. It’s been a year since he was implanted an artificial heart at the Acibadem Sistina Hospital. This is the first intervention of this kind performed in the country, and the team of doctors is proud that Spirov has the energy, optimism and will to overcome new challenges.
With a smile on his face, thankful for waking up every morning and being able to perform everyday activities, Goran Spirov drives a car, walks and enjoys everyday life.
“If it weren’t for Dr. Nikolikj, I can’t imagine what would’ve happen to me. I feel good now, but I will be even better with a new human heart. The artificial heart pump weighs 7 kilograms and I have to carry it with me all the time. However, waking up in the morning and being alive is what’s most important to me. Now I am like a Ninja Turtle, constantly carrying 7 kilograms on my back. I really hope and expect that I will receive a human heart in near future” – said Mr. Spirov, the 47-year old patient from Shtip.
Mr. Spirov says that he got used to the device without which his artificial heart could not function. He is in constant communication with Dr. Nikolikj since he has to go for regular follow-up examinations at the Acibadem Sistina Hospital.
Dr. Nikolikj says that the patient performs his everyday activities with the artificial heart implanted for a year now, but emphasizes that Mr. Spirov’s best option is to receive a human heart, an intervention that is currently not allowed by applicable laws in the country. Acibadem Sistina Hospital, says Dr. Nikolikj, is completely prepared to perform heart transplantation.
“A year after the intervention, the patient feels good. I hope we will get the opportunity to give him a human heart performing human heart transplantation within the shortest possible time. We are ready regarding technical conditions and personnel, but current laws do not allow transplantations of this kind. Goran’s greatest desire is to receive a human heart and to have a normal life. He can perform everyday activities, drive a car and go for regular follow-up examinations every two weeks with his artificial heart, but he will benefit the most from a transplantation of human heart. Currently, applicable laws do not allow for private hospitals to perform heart transplantations. In my opinion, this needs to be changed considering the fact that it is exactly the private hospitals who are leaders in the field of transplantation in Europe and America. The law should be amended in our country too, with a decision that the country monitors such transplantations”, said Prof. Dr. Nikolikj.
He added that there are currently more than 15 patients in the country, candidates for heart transplantation, and Acibadem Sistina Hospital is prepared and has all resources necessary for human heart transplantation.
There have been three artificial hearts implanted at the Acibadem Sistina Hospital so far.
The mechanical heart is of the same size as the human heart. It is powered by a battery that the patient carries with himself in a special backpack after being discharged from the hospital. It weighs 7 kilograms. Mechanical heart implantation is a trend in world cardiac surgery giving the fact that donor human heart is becoming increasingly more difficult to find. The expectations are that in near future, at the end of this or the following year, a noiseless and wireless artificial heart will be built. At the moment, there is an initiative to form a club of patients with artificial heart implanted.