INSIDE EDITION Speaks To The Man Without A Heart

INSIDE EDITION Speaks To The Man Without A Heart

Chris Marshall is truly a scientific miracle, he is the man without a heart. He's the first person ever to leave a hospital with an artificial heart while he waits for a transplant.

All day and all night, Chris is attached to a machine that keeps the mechanical heart pumping. His machine emits a loud, pounding noise. At night when Chris and his wife Kathy go to bed, she has to wear ear plugs to fall asleep, but she doesn't mind.

"This is the noise of life," said Kathy.

Chris is an oil company technician from Wasilla, Alaska - that's right, Sarah Palin's home town. Last October, doctors diagnosed Chris with a rare disease that destroys heart muscle. He was sent to Seattle, Washington, to meet with specialists at the University of Washington.

Chris went to the University for what he thought would be two days to meet with doctors. It turned out he'll be living there for months, if not years, waiting for a donor heart until he can go back home to Wasilla.

Doctors found that Chris' heart was so badly damaged, they removed it immediately and implanted an artificial heart.

His surgeon, Dr. Nahush Mokadam, told INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret, "He was in bad shape."
Dr. Mokadam showed INSIDE EDITION how his artificial heart works.

"We used a total artificial heart, which is basically two pumps that are attached by Velcro," said Dr. Mokadam.  

Velcro, the low-tech fastening device, is actually used to adjust the heart to fit inside his chest cavity. Tubes are connected to the motor inside the backpack which pumps Chris' blood.
Unbelievably, just six weeks after getting the implant, Chris is able to walk four miles-a-day.
Chris told INSIDE EDITION, "This total artificial heart has really given me that strength back."

This process doesn't come cheap, the total cost is already approaching $1million .

While Chris waits for his new heart, the sound of the machine is a noise he hopes will never go away.