Lionheart patient receives heart transplant

May 23, 2004

Hershey, PA -- Gayle Snider, the first U.S. patient to go home from the hospital with an Arrow LionHeart heart-assist device, received a heart transplant Saturday, May 22, at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

"Gayle was in great spirits prior to the operation," said Walter E. Pae Jr., cardiothoracic surgeon, Penn State Cardiovascular Center. "He came through the procedure just fine and is progressing as expected."

Snider, 36, from York, Pa., marked one year with the heart-assist device on May 14. He said in a statement to the media that week: "It's hard to believe it's been a year. Although I haven't had any surprises and have grown comfortable with the device and the few changes I've had to make in my life since I had the surgery, I'm very excited about the next step -- getting a heart transplant. I probably wouldn't have had a chance to get a transplant without the LionHeart, because I probably wouldn't be here."

Although the LionHeart is intended as a long-term therapy for patients with end-stage heart failure who are not candidates for heart transplantation, some patients whose health improves markedly may become eligible for transplant. For more information about the LionHeart, visit pennstatelionheart.com

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009