ABIOCOR RECIPIENT TOM CHRISTERSON, SURGEON ROB
THROW CEREMONIAL PITCH AT LOUISVILLE SLUGGER FIELD
Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles Exhibition
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville
surgeon Rob Dowling, M.D. and Tom Christerson, the world's second
recipient and longest living AbioCor Implantable Replacement
Heart patient, will join each other at the pitcher's mound to
throw out one of the ceremonial balls for an exhibition game between
the Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles. The game, at 2:05
p.m. Saturday, March 30, will mark the first exhibition game in
the history of Louisville Slugger Field and the first major league
game to be played in the city since the early 1990s.
Christerson received his artificial
heart September 13, 2001, in a landmark surgery at Jewish Hospital
performed by University of Louisville surgeons Laman Gray, M.D.
and Dr. Dowling. Christerson was released from the hospital March
20, and has been staying at The Inn at Jewish Hospital. The AbioCor
Implantable Replacement Heart is manufactured by ABIOMED, Inc.,
of Danvers, Mass.
"Mr. Christerson is using his
time at The Inn to adjust to his routine as he prepares to return
to his home in Central City," Dr. Gray said. "He's doing
very well physically and emotionally, and seems to be making the
most of his time away from the hospital."
In addition to physical therapy at
Frazier Rehab Institute, Christerson spends his days enjoying
time with his family and friends and exploring sites around Louisville.
Recent trips have included tours of the Louisville Science Center
Museum, The Kentucky Derby Museum and lunches at Mazzoni's Oyster
"I'm having a good time,
and everyone at Jewish Hospital has been terrific. But I still
can't wait to get home," Christerson said. "I miss Central
Christerson will be leaving the game
early because of a family event, and will only be available for
interviews immediately following the game. He is planning to invite
the media to join him at an event next week.
Jewish Hospital is among the
top ten cardiac centers in the United States and, along with the
University of Louisville, is dedicated to excellence, research
and education. University of Louisville surgeons at Jewish Hospital
have performed many heart care "firsts," including Kentucky's
first heart transplant, the world's first heart transplant following
the use of a Thoratec bi-ventricular assist device, the world's
first endoscopic saphenous vein harvest and the first ventricular
remodeling in the region.