Brigham & Women's Hospital Performs Landmark Artificial Heart Transplant

June 28, 2012

From the Boston Herald:

A former science teacher from Holbrook was New England’s first total artificial heart transplant patient, a jubilant medical team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital announced today.

“It’s been an amazing journey, and I really can’t believe I’m still here, but I feel great, and I get to live another day,” James Carelli Jr., who spent decades teaching science and coaching track and field to Braintree High School students, told the Herald last week.

But at 10:30 this morning, he was the exhibit — not the instructor.

He sat at center stage at the Boston hospital, flanked by international renowned physicians, who detailed the pioneering new technology that has given Carelli a new life.

“This is truly both life-saving and life-restoring,” said cardiac surgeon Dr. Gregory Couper.

Carelli, 66, was diagnosed in 2010 with amyloidosis, a condition that leads to heart failure.

“In Mr. Carelli’s case, a complete lack of other options led us to this procedure,” said Dr. Mandeep Mehra, cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Carelli got his new heart in February, just before Valentine’s Day. He remains on the donor list for a heart transplant.

The Brigham is a global leader in transplant advances and has made international news with organ, limb and a full face transplant.