Two Hearts Beat as One - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/28/05

Two Hearts Beat as One

The Utes didn't play a winning game, but this 51 year old Montana man, who was there watching, is a winner in his own right. Mark Enger, his wife Teresa, and their eight year old son, Michael were invited into the president's box because of the unusual way this husband and father skirted death. He's being kept alive with not just one - but two artificial hearts.

For most people awaiting a real heart transplant, it's only one artificial heart - this lvad. But in mark's case, he's got two - one external for one side of the heart - this one implanted for the other side of the heart.  "His illness affected both sides of his heart. So we implanted one, but it was not enough. So we had to go back and implant the second one - which is on the right side." says, nurse, Joanne Carlson. When Dr. James Stringham and his colleagues implanted the hearts, Mark was at death's door. "So I'm back up and running again, and once again, I'm just a fortunate person. It's like night and day. It's a new lease on life," says Mark.  Mark's son only remembered his dad when they rushed him to Salt Lake City. "Sort of when I walked down the hall and saw him at the airport, i just didn't recognize him," laughs Michael. "I can barely keep up with him. He's walking rapidly. He's active," says Joanne. 

Mark will keep his two synthetic hearts only until he gets a real heart transplant. After that, he and Michael are going hiking.

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