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Barney Clark
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Oddity
    (January 21, 1921-March 23, 1983)
    Retired dentist
    Received Jarvik-7 artificial heart transplant from Dr. William DeVries of the University of Utah
    Implanted on December 2, 1982, the 61 year-old patient lived for 112 days with the artificial heart
    Since he was the first, he was a human guinea pig.
    The procedure turned into a media circus event.
    He doubted it would work.
    Though it prolonged his life, he never got to leave his hospital bed. The washing machine-sized air compressor that powered the thing and the tubes in his chest made it impossible.
    Some animals that were experimented on lived longer than he did with their artificial hearts.
    This 'experiment' of creating a completely artificial heart was a washout when federal scientists decided to drop the project after spending a quarter billion dollars on research (1988).
    His regular heart was weakened by a viral infection.
    Since he was too sick to be eligible for a donated heart, he didn't have a whole lot of open options.
    After family members had to carry him from his room to the table and back during Thanksgiving dinner, it prompted him to OK the procedure.
    Though scared, he signed the consent form (November 30, 1982) and made 'medical history.'
    He received his heart on the 15th anniversary of the first human heart transplant.
    He had a series of strokes afterwards and died from complications.
    The 'experiment' helped pave the way for advancements in heart care.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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