First man who lived six months without heart mourned by Czechs

Czechs on Thursday mourned the death of Jakub Halik, a 38-year-old fireman, who became the first human ever to have survived six months without a heart on artificial life support, but succumbed to liver and kidney failure.

Physicians treating an aggressive in his heart removed it in April but were never able to find another compatible donor for a successful transplant.

"Up to now, no one the world over has ever survived such a long time in this kind of condition," the Dnes Czech daily said Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Blesk daily paid homage to "the man without a heart who was a man of great heart."

Black flags of mourning flew over fire stations across the Thursday as colleagues honoured Halik.

In August, eminent Jan Pirk from Prague's IKEM institute had warned that finding a heart compatible for a "big lad" like Halek would be no easy task.

His condition deteriorated over the past few weeks with tests showing he was suffering from both liver and .

"We did everything possible to save him," Pirk said. Jakub Halik died Saturday morning, but the news was only made public later in the week.

"This feisty fighter loved his family very much. His life's mission was to save the lives of others. Unfortunately, our ability to save his life were very limited," Eliska Breckova, his nurse at IKEM told Blesk.

Halik is survived by his wife and 12-year-old son.

Related Stories

Heart pumps save lives

date Jun 14, 2010

Heart failure is a very common condition: around 200,000 people in Sweden have been diagnosed with the disease. Some patients with life-threatening heart failure can be helped by mechanical heart pumps, reveals a thesis from ...

Recommended for you

1950s drug is future heart treatment

date 15 hours ago

Oxford University researchers have found a promising future treatment for heart disease, going back to a drug first developed in 1950.

Time is muscle in acute heart failure

date May 21, 2015

Urgent diagnosis and treatment in acute heart failure has been emphasised for the first time in joint recommendations published today in European Heart Journal.

Common mutation linked to heart disease

date May 20, 2015

A common mutation in a gene that regulates cholesterol levels may raise the risk of heart disease in carriers, according to a new UConn Health study.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.