Sometime this week, 51-year-old Alvin Carter will leave the Mayo Clinic with a man-made heart and a power pack, ushering in a new era in Minnesota medicine. In March, Carter became the first patient in Minnesota -- and one of 1,000 in the world -- to receive a portable artificial heart that won't keep him tethered to a hospital… The mechanical heart, made by a company called SynCardia, is designed to keep patients alive until they can get a human heart transplant. The device should allow Carter, who lives in Michigan, to live a normal life while he waits for a donor heart, said his surgeon, Dr. Lyle Joyce. "That's the exciting thing," said Joyce. "Now we can send them home."
Star Tribune by Maura Lerner 4/10/12