The Freedom Portable Driver Is The New Key To Freedom
New Yorker, Daquain Jenkins, takes comfort in the repetitive beat that accompanies him everywhere he goes.
It’s a vivid reminder that his implanted artificial heart is working. Far from being annoying Jenkins says: “This shows my beats per minute, my flow volume, and my cardio output….These are the batteries and how we check the charge. You push these down.”
The father-of-three was diagnosed with congestive heart failure three years ago at age 25 and given a transplant. But the heart failed in August of 2012 and had to be removed. It was replaced by a Total Artificial Heart that will keep Daquain alive until another donor heart becomes available. Jenkins describes that: “Air travels through the lines, up until here, and these tubes that are hanging out are connected to the artificial heart that’s in here using air and uses air to pump the valves, the artificial valves that are in here that pumps the blood throughout me and keeps me alive. My lifeline.”
The plastic organ, developed by the US company SynCardia, replaces the two lower heart chambers; the ventricles, which pump blood through the body.
The Freedom Portable Driver is the new key to “Freedom.” It replaces the much larger hospital driver weighing 400 pounds. It enables patients like Jenkins to live at home while waiting for a donor heart. It can last for two hours on battery power when not plugged into an outlet.
The Freedom Driver and its hospital companion, The Companion Driver were developed by Rodger Ford as CEO projects under his leadership of SynCardia from 2006 to 2011. The driver family replaced the cumbersome and large 400 pound driver that was the size of a commercial washing machine. Now SynCardia patients can roam the hospital with the mobile Companion and when discharged enjoy the Freedom of a normal life. The Freedom Driver is about the same size as a portable oxygen system.
During the 6 years of Mr. Ford’s leadership SynCardia emerged from a “Science Project” to an enterprise that will change the lives of many around the world. This new driver technology is the breakthrough that has allowed SynCardia to begin the expansion to serve the Transplant Centers of the world. SynCardia now serves over 130 transplant centers worldwide with approximately 40% of their customers outside the USA. Significant expansion is expected in the coming years.
SynCardia has implanted more than 1,000 of its devices and given almost 300 years of extra life to its patients. Daquain Jenkins calls SynCardia and his doctors miracle workers. His heart backpack gives him an unexpected degree of Freedom and a chance at life. “It’s nice outside. I like it” Jenkins exclaims.