A life-saving pump let a Connecticut man leave Hartford Hospital after several months on the heart transplant waiting list.
Andrew Jones hits the gym almost every day with no excuses.
He's come a long way since he was admitted to Hartford Hospital in May. That was four-years after a virus attacked his heart causing it to start failing.
Jones was put on the transplant waiting list and thought he was there until they found a donor. But he's still waiting.
For now, Jones waits mostly at Malibu Fitness in Farmington, where his priority is to stay heart healthy.
"I could literally be sitting at the top of the list, but just not the perfect match has come up yet,” Jones said.
Until a donor is found, the 25-year-old Jones’ heart pumps thanks to a surgically implanted system that includes a small computer outside of his body with two batteries.
"It's a centrifugal pump that sits at the bottom of my left ventricle and supplies blood flow to the rest of my body because the pumping efficiency,” Jones said. “The output of blood flow in my heart was severely decreased."
Jones said he could never have left Hartford Hospital without it or the support of his parents, two older brothers and close friends.
"He's an absolute inspiration,” friend Jess Rewa said. “To go through what he's been through and to still be working out, still be coming in here all the time and to still be as happy a person as he is, it's mind-blowing to me."
Jones passes the time shooting fitness videos. But he also proved he has a heart of gold by starting a non-profit to raise donor awareness, appropriately called Hearts At Large.
"It's, it's the biggest gift that you can give - especially during the holiday season,” Jones said. “You know? For someone who's in need, it would be, it's literally a lifesaver."
To view his fitness videos, click here.
To learn more about Hearts at Large, click here.
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