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Meet Joe Ann Bivins, World's Longest-Supported Recipient Of A Single Heart Assist DeviceJoeAnn Bivins of Detroit got a heart support implant in July 2005 called a HeartMate II Left Ventricular Assist Device from Pleasanton, Calif.-based Thoratec Corp. The implantation took place at the University of Michigan. Nearly eight years later, the implant is still humming along. And it allows Bivins, 68, of Detroit, to live her life virtually free of the symptoms of heart failure.

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