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UK man has to plug himself into the mains to keep himself charged; Here's why

IBTimes India 2018-01-12 13:28:01

Representational image.Creative Commons.


Wearing the heart on the sleeve has been a thing for a while, and then a UK woman was fitted with an artificial heart she has to carry around in a backpack.

And now, a 22-year-old man has become the youngest person in the UK to be fitted with a battery operated heart that he has to charge every night. For everybody wondering how – he does it by 'plugging himself' into the mains through a hole in his torso.


Also read: Heart in a bag

Jim Lynskey, the Redditch, Worcestershire resident has an enlarged heart. His condition is known as dilated cardiomyopathy, which occurred after he and his twin sister caught viral meningitis when they were just two weeks old.

Talking about his day-to-day life, Daily Mail Online reported, he spilled being on priority service with his electrical suppliers in case there's a power cut. He said: "I have to plug myself into the mains electric at night whilst another machine charges the batteries."

He also added, "Having a shower can be tricky and I have to seal the batteries in a watertight bag. I always tend to avoid staying anywhere else overnight as it means taking all the equipment with me in a suitcase."

One of the 100 people in the UK to have been fitted with this device, Jim carried two large battery packs with himself – each of which last eight hours. A small computer device and a spare equipment are his constant companions too.

Even though it keeps the weak left side of his heart pumping and comes with an alarm that sounds during a case of failure, so an ambulance can be called, the device actually makes it all the more complicated for him to have a heart transplant.

After suffering three near-fatal cardiac arrests, the food and consumer management student at Sheffield University is still optimistic he may have a transplant sometime in the future. This is also what is urging him to speak out to encourage and spur people towards organ donation.

"Having only just undergone open-heart surgery I will need to be fully recovered before being considered for a heart transplant," he explained about his situation.

"I will probably go back onto the organ donation list in about two months, but the idea of a transplant is quite scary, if it doesn't work then there is nowhere to go from there. That thought is always on my mind as the surgery is so risky."

When he was just eight years old, Jim had experienced ventricular tachycardiaor (VT), leading him to being resuscitated from two consecutive cardiac arrests. He said: "I had never experienced anything like that before and I was so young, it was very frightening. I knew something very bad was happening."

Again, at the age of 17, he suffered another attack during a game of football and had to be resuscitated for the second time. Just a month later, in 2015, he was fitted with a Ventricular Assist Device – a mechanical pump that supported blood flow.

The device failed to live up to its failsafe reputation when in October last year, it began breaking down and Jim was rushed to the hospital. And that's where he found his new heart.

Also read: Baby survives despite being born with heart outside her body

And now, he's a strong supporter of the Save9lives campaign, based on the ideology that each person signing up for organ donation could prospectively save the lives of nine people.

"I'm just so grateful to be alive, whether that is with the pump or with a heart transplant. I'm doing talks at festivals and schools about the importance of organ donation and have started planning a few fundraising events," he shared about his initiative.