A recent short film titled “Heart Stop Beating” made by Jeremiah Zagar provides a glimpse into the development of the technology and its use to save the life of Craig Lewis, a 55-year-old man dying from amyloidosis.

February 4, 2012

1 Min Read
Short Film Showcases Beatless Artificial Heart Technology

Image from the Texas Heart Institute

Last year, heart surgeon Billy Cohn, MD explained in a ABC News video that ventricular assist devices “work really beautifully to support a weak left heart. But no one had ever used one to replace a heart, or use two of them to replace both sides of the heart.” Cohn and his partner O.H. “Bud” Frazier at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston had made a device that does just that. And, at the time, the technology had been successfully implanted into a patient.

Looking back on their efforts, Cohn explained how he and Frazier realized that developing a beatless artificial heart based on ventricular assist technology initially involved “some arts and crafts.” Recounting those efforts, Cohn explained that two men originally had made prototypes using “stuff from Home Depot: tile caulk from the bathroom department and drywall tape.”

A recent short film titled “Heart Stop Beating” made by Jeremiah Zagar provides a glimpse into the development of the technology and its use to save the life of Craig Lewis, a 55-year-old man dying from amyloidosis. The film recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. 

Brian Buntz

Heart Stop Beating | Jeremiah Zagar from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

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