A bodybuilder who suffered heart failure was rushed to hospital for a transplant – and now has an artificial heart he carries around in a backpack.
Andrew Jones, from Conneticut, went ill two years ago when started to cough up blood, developing a high fever. At the hospital, doctors diagnosed the 26-year-old with cardiomyopathy – a hereditary disease of the heart muscle – and soon he became so weak he couldn’t stand, walk or dress himself.
A few months later, medics told if he didn’t have a transplant immediately he would die.
There were no organs available for him, so he was fitted with a pacemaker and an artificial heart – which is connected to a machine he now carries around in a bag on his back. “Today, thanks to my medical devices, I feel like a new person.” Jones said. While some would be ashamed of their scars, Jones wears his with pride, and explains to curious bypasses why he carries a backpack with him everywhere. “When I tell them what it (the backpack) is for the response is somewhere along the lines of shock. They think I am pulling their leg, or seem surprised because I look healthy.”
Despite his brush with death, he is now back to the gym and said he cries after workouts as he feels so “thankful to be alive”.