Young Boy Becomes First Human to Live With a Permanent "Robot Heart"

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Until now, all other artificial heart transplants were just temporary relief. A 15 year old boy from Italy became the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart, due to the Duchenne syndrome which was wasting his muscles away.

It was this syndrome which meant he couldn't receive a heart transplant, causing doctors in Rome to insert the 4cm-long electrically-activated hydraulic pump "heart' in his left ventricle. A plug behind his left ear and battery attached to his belt powers the heart, which will gift him another 20 - 25 years of life that he wouldn't have had without this operation.


If you compare the unnamed boy's 90g heart with the first-ever artificial heart from 1969, you can see just how far the medical world has progressed in those 41 years. The photo above shows the first-ever artificial heart, which was placed inside a man's heart for 64 hours, while he waited for a donor heart. [Telegraph and Daily Mail]