A Heart with no Beat: The Story of a Remarkable Transplant
Heart Stop Beating is an incredible 3-minute short film about two visionary doctors from the Texas Heart Institute who successfully replaced a dying man’s heart with a ‘continuous flow’ device, proving that life was possible without a heart beat. The film was directed and produced by Jeremiah Zagar, an Emmy-nominated director of In a Dream, Delhi House, and Coney Island, 1945.
Heart Stop Beating by Jeremiah Zagar
- Craig Lewis, a 55-year-old Texas man who was about 12 hours away from death, became the first human to receive what doctors are calling the “beatless heart”
- The device was made up of two ventricular assist devices intricately tied together, replacing his entire heart. It was developed by Doctors Billy Cohn and O.H. “Bud” Frazier at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston
- A ventricular assist device has a screwlike rotor of blades, which pushes the blood forward in a continuous flow. Thousands of people have one of these implanted close to their hearts, including former Vice President Dick Cheney. By using two, the doctors replaced both the right and left ventricles — the entire heart
- The Doctors practiced on over 38 calves before even remotely considering a human trial
- The patient, suffering from cardiac amyloidosis, eventually died five weeks after the operation, as his disease advanced, causing liver and kidney failure
- More than 100,000 Americans are on a list for about 2,200 hearts a year
- The psychological aspect of the beatless heart may be its biggest drawback, even though the body doesn’t seem to need a pulse
- Focus Forward Films
- ABC News: Texas Man Pioneers Use of Beatless Heart, the Wave of the Future
- NPR: Heart With No Beat Offers Hope Of New Lease On Life
- Big thanks to my cousin @julianwrong for sharing the film!