Australian surgeons said last week that they have made a major breakthrough by making a dead heart beat again and successfully using it in a transplant.
Previously, surgeons relied on donor hearts from brain-dead patients whose hearts were still beating.
But the director of Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital Heart Lung Transplant Unit, Peter MacDonald told a press conference that the successful surgery meant many more “dead” hearts could be used in transplants, Xinhua reported.
“In all our years, our biggest hindrance has been the limited availability of organ donors,” MacDonald told reporters.
MacDonald said the hospital had recently successfully transplanted two hearts, which were donated after the hosts died and the heart was no longer beating.
The first transplant patient was Michelle Gribilar, 57, who was suffering from congenital heart failure and had undergone surgery about two months ago.
Gribilar said before surgery, she struggled to walk 100 metres but now she can walk three km every day.
“I was very sick before I had it,” she said. “Now I’m a different person altogether.”