Heart in a Box: UCLA patient’s life-saving donor heart arrives ‘warm and beating’ inside box

61-year-old Rob Evans from Arizona is getting a new heart tonight in what will be a rare and extraordinary transplant at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Rob suffers from a condition called cardiomyopathy. His heart is failing. Having cardiomyopathy, I’ve been healthy enough to be able to do the things I needed to do to make a living, but not healthy enough to be me. Unlike traditional heart transplantation where the donor heart is stopped, put on ice, and transported in a cooler, Rob’s new donor heart will be one of the first in the country to span the miles in almost science fiction-like fashion, still warm, still beating, in a box. This technology takes the organ out of the donor, puts it on a platform where it continues to pump the donor blood into the heart, maintain it in a near physiologic state–in a warm, beating state–during the transport. This is a clinical trial. Assuming that this technology proves to be as good as the current preservation techniques, or possibly superior, this technology opens the door for a new way of preserving organs, improving patient outcomes, and transporting organs from one center to the other. To tell you the truth, it’s a “well, duh” thing for me, you know, that as long as we can–as long as the technologies available, what seems like, of course a warm heart would do better than having to restart a dormant, cold heart. The donor heart arrives at UCLA, beating steadily, and continually assessed. Rob’s diseased heart is removed, his circulation and oxygen supply taken over by a heart-lung machine. His new donor heart is now briefly put to sleep with special drugs, removed from the box, and sewn into place. Well, this new technology allows us to take the heart and put it on a machine that keeps it beating and keeps blood flowing through the coronary arteries instead of just taking the heart and packing it in ice. We’re hoping to be able to demonstrate that we can better preserve the heart, get better function, and be able to travel longer distances so that we can get more hearts to patients in this area. We waited three and a half years for a heart, so–and in that three and a half years you’re constantly, you know, “Are we?” We had another heart attack, we had pneumonia a couple times, you know. “Is he going to live to get the heart?” Anything to shorten that timeframe, it’s just fabulous. The new heart is working perfectly, and everything just turned out great. To date, all of the patients enrolled in this phase two study at UCLA have done well. Their progress will be rigorously reviewed. Rob and Gail will now be going home to Arizona and hope to resume the active life they love. Well, first I have to start at the top of my wife’s list of things that I have to do when I get back to Arizona, and if I ever make it to the bottom then, you know, I’ll be back on my horse and I’ll be back running my business and, you know, the respect and, frankly, love we have for the donor’s family will always be a part of our lives. It’s almost like, Woo-Hoo! We get a life again, you know.

100 thoughts on “Heart in a Box: UCLA patient’s life-saving donor heart arrives ‘warm and beating’ inside box

  1. It must be stupid but when I watched heartbeats and how hardworking my heart is! Im ashamed of myself for moments I wish I was dead cause I do not wanna live more! My heart works nonstop for stupid person like me… Sorryyyyy heart😩😑❤️

  2. There's always something special that happens when advanced medical techniques are put into the hands of able and intelligent minds.
    Just amazing to watch all this happening and it's just so phenomenal at see these advancements and know that there are many more to still come.

  3. I’m glad for you and your family and appreciate that you mentioned the donors family as well. I hope all take solace in the fact that they helped in a noble cause

  4. 2011 now what take a look on brain transplant its 2019
    reached mars and still no treatments cures on aids cancer migrane shameful

  5. What makes sence giving heart to old man who will die in few years giving to young one will make them to see and experience the world.

  6. I need a heart transplant but not sure if I get lucky enough to find one, but my hope is God and that's that well I made it to 32 tho lol

  7. Why is no one appreciating the person who died for this man? Give props to the doctors but most importantly the life-saver and God.

  8. Very informative video. Please review this link also and comment there so many people can get as much information. Thanks

  9. I'm a teen and if only I can save someones life by giving them my heart, I'd be happy to do it. I'm so depressed for the past few months and I feel like I have nothing to do in my life anymore, so instead of wasting my heart by dying useless, I'll just donate it to someone. And then of course the relatives of that someone will pay me. In that way I could make my family proud for once in my life.

  10. Everyone please take care of your heart because even after the transplant your new heart will only last you 10 years

  11. Organ transplant is one of the leading cause of human (including children) trafficking! Human and mostly children are being trafficked from poor countries to the rich ones 😭😭😭

  12. Ok so real question..how can you be dead and a donor and ur heart still beating? How did the donor die and the heart still beating?

  13. Transplantation are really magical, like the period to keep a person to stay alive, while moving the heart into his place, damn, a very long and professional work

  14. Wow nice,,, you made your heart damage by doing shocking illegal things in your life time, now due to the money you snatched someone's life …. nice world

  15. Human being need to stop fly in God face and stop be afraid to die. When your time comes just go cause some of u guys still don't even help others and always try to better god. Smh

  16. You never know how much a transportation means till it's knocking at your bac door… 3 days ago my brother was on death's door… Drs giving up cause there was no more hope… a liver came in in the nick of time… we only have the Good Lord and the ppl involved to thank… where ever you are who saved my brother I pray for peace…

  17. Really sad to read he passed on not even two years later. I'd love to know if they're going to continue the trial and error for this transplant and if there have been any recent findings in support or against it. Barely any news or links about it.

  18. i think they buy the heart at black market who abduct people/children and take their organs for sale, money+ cruelty= live in hell yeah! 🙄🙄🙄
    who will offer their hearth/life for money?
    Answer: the murderer kill someone for money👎👎👎👎

  19. accept your death don't steal someone's life for selfishness, if you are destined to die you should be thankful because you may rest and forget everything, but taking someones life is a wrong way to live, you will be a murderer by that 😒😒😒😒

  20. Why not extract organs from pigs- iirc pig tissue is compatible with human flesh! Are you worried pig virus would jump species? People eat bacon everyday yet pig virus has never jumped species. FFS there are children needing transplants as we speak.

  21. What is next? We kidnap a homeless person in New York have a surgeon who believes he is God stop the homeless persons heart and cut it out for a person on the West coast where they fly the beating heart to. My father was a man and hero who accepted his fate and died with God Stopping his heart not some bastard surgeon. Oh ya how much revenue is this generating for the hospitals and doctors. Science fiction or research. Does the donor walk endless days and night between the living and the dead waiting for their soul back?


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