AbioCor Artificial Heart Patient Passes Away
(Louisville, Ky.) - Surgeons Laman Gray, M.D., Rob Dowling, M.D., and the Jewish Hospital/University of Louisville/AbioCor team are saddened to announce the death of David J. Propps, a recipient of the AbioCorŪ Implantable Replacement Heart, manufactured by ABIOMED, Inc.
The team implanted the heart into Mr. Propps, then 65, on January 22, 2003 in a 10-hour procedure. He was the fifth person to receive the heart at Jewish Hospital. He died at 6:08 p.m. EST Sunday, March 16, 2003, 54 days following the experimental procedure. The AbioCor multidisciplinary team is reviewing all details of the case to determine cause of death.
"We extend our sympathy to the Propps family," Dr. Gray said. "As one of the initial AbioCor patients, Mr. Propps will be remembered as a medical pioneer. His contribution will help people who suffer from heart disease in many years to come."
"My thoughts are with the Propps family. Mr. Propps made a great contribution to medicine and to mankind. We were able to learn so much from his willingness to join the clinical trial and to help future generations," Dr. Dowling said.
Mr. Propps, a Lexington business owner and former electrical engineer, owned Kwik Kopy printing. He held a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University. During the time he lived with the AbioCor heart he had another birthday, turning 66 on Valentine's Day. He is survived by his wife, Maggie, their three adult children, Kelly, Jeff and Stephanie Propps, and four granddaughters all of Lexington, KY, his mother and sister of Indianapolis, IN, and his brother of Cape Coral, FL.
Mrs. Propps praised her husband's contribution and willingness to join the clinical trial. "His heroism should not be forgotten. He made his decision to join the trial not so much for himself but for the future of medicine. I'm very proud of him and of his decision. We were married 47 years. He's long been my hero."
Visitation and services for David are being held in Lexington, KY at Kerr Brothers Mortuary, Harrodsburg Road. The family has requested that the press not attend the services.
For current information about the clinical trial, refer to the website www.heartpioneers.com. The family asks that expressions of sympathy be donated in David Propps name to the Jewish Hospital Foundation, 200 Abraham Flexner Way, Louisville, KY 40202.