In March of 2011, Craig Lewis (55) was suffering from a life-threatening heart problem, with a condition called “Amyloidosis,” and not even a pacemaker could help save his life. It’s a rare autoimmune disease that fills internal organs with a viscous protein that causes rapid heart, kidney, and liver failure. But two doctors – Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier – from the Texas Heart Institute proposed a revolutionary new solution – install a ‘continuous flow’ device that would allow blood to circulate throughout his body without a pulse.
They removed Mr. Lewis’ heart and then installed the device. Within a day, the patient was up and speaking with physicians. Without the immediate intervention of those doctors, Lewis would have likely died within days.
The two doctors had developed the device sometime before and had tested it on nearly 70 calves, all of whom produced a flat line on an EKG, no heart rate or pulse, yet they were otherwise perfectly normal – eating, sleeping and interacting with each other as they usually would – but again, had no heartbeat.
Mr. Lewis’ Amyloidosis was getting worse, and doctors feared he would die soon without necessary efforts. Doctors grimly said he had 12 hours to live. So, with the permission of Mr. Lewis’ wife Linda, Dr. Cohn and Dr. Frazier installed the heart in March 2011. The procedure took less than 48 hours and was a great success. However, his kidneys and liver were not so lucky. They were failing him, and after few months, his family asked the doctors to unplug the device.
Below is a video titled “Heart Stop Beating,” which shows the story of these two doctors and the process they had to go through to replace this man’s dying heart with a “continuous flow” device they developed, proving that life was possible without a pulse or a heartbeat.
Watch the Video Here: [Warning: Graphic Surgical Footage]
Hence, Craig Lewis was the first human in this world to receive this technology.