YPSILANTI (WWJ) — A 24-year-old Ypsilanti man with heart failure and in need of a heart transplant is the first person in the state who has been discharged from a hospital without a human heart.

In the past, the man would have had to remain in the hospital with an artificial heart that could only be powered by a machine that weighs around 400 pounds and is the size of a washing machine.

Thanks to new technology, an artificial heart can now be run by a backpack-size device that weighs only 13 pounds. University of Michigan cardiac surgeon Jonathan Haft explained how the innovative device works.

“The artificial heart recently has been updated which allows an external controller that is now portable, and allows patients to be discharged from the hospital,” Haft said.

Dr. Haft said that the portable device will allow the patient to get stronger while he waits for a donor.

About 3,000 people in the United States are on the waiting list for a heart transplant on any given day. You can sign up to become an organ donor at the Michigan Secretary of State website.

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