For years, doctors attempted to create artificial hearts that mimicked the real heart—using methods that recreate blood pumping. Billy Cohn and Bud Frazier instead developed a continuous-flow device that has worked on calves and some humans, including patient Rahel Elmer Reger:

The little quilted backpack held two lithium-ion batteries and the HeartMate II’s computerized controller, which are connected by cable through a hole in Reger’s side. Needless to say, she has never left her backpack on a bus. “My cousin once disconnected me, though, by mistake,” she said. “I was showing her how to change the battery. She disconnected one, and then—I was distracted for a second—the other. I yelled, ‘You can’t do that!’ and then passed out. The device blares at you. She reconnected it, and I came back. I was probably out for 10 seconds. She was completely freaked out.”

“No Pulse: How Doctors Reinvented The Human Heart.” — Dan Baum, Popular Science

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