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Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation ​so when most people think about the heart we have a tendency to attach emotions to it love hate happiness sadness joy or jealousy or maybe you just had your heart broken at some point in time in your life which makes me think about Valentine's Day which was about two weeks ago and it was kind of hard to avoid seeing heart-shaped everything you had heart-shaped candy heart-shaped chocolate heart-shaped balloons and cards or even like a teddy bear holding a heart that has like this nice little saying on it about how much I love you or what you mean to me and it's just funny because it's just a person's way of trying to tell you what I'm feeling and that what was in my heart and in my profession even though we seem to humanize the heart with all these emotions and and feelings we actually just take your heart out and give you a fake one and and for me myself that's kind of weird because I'm like you I think oh the heart emotions feelings all of this yet you know we just take it out throw in a bucket and give you a fake one so I have to ask certain questions like you know what does that mean and I'd remember the first artificial heart patient I got to work with I asked them all the silly dumb questions that anyone may ask do you still love your wife do you love your kids are you angry can you get angry am I making you angry now if I scared you would your heart rate pick up even though I know it can't because I control it but I gotta ask because I don't know what that's like and and the only way I can find out is talking to this person as to why would you even put yourself through something like this so I'm going to ask you to think or imagine you're in your hospital room and the doctor comes in and tells you you're gonna die today and there's really not much we can do not in the year 96.3 your mind you start thinking about all the things you're gonna miss out on like your kids graduation or their growing up are you gonna miss out on the child's first steps are you gonna miss like a loved ones wedding or maybe you're just thinking about man I really wish I told that person how much I really liked him or maybe you start thinking about other things like man what's gonna happen all my stuff or you know my family's not financially prepared for me not being here anymore these are real things that patients have actually shared with me when a doctor you know presented this to them and so it made me start to wonder how much time would you need at that point what would you start thinking about man I just really wish I had like another day or a week or a man I just need a good solid ten years you know how much time would you need so that you would be comfortable or feel like you can pass away in peace or if it's a loved one what would that feel like you know hoping that you just had a little bit more time with them so that whenever they are gone you're gonna be okay with that this is a reality for people or for many people that have severe heart disease and are actually waiting a heart transplant and these people are kind of deemed the sickest of the sick you know medications are no longer working for them there's no other type of mechanical device that can actually give them the time that they need to get this transplant because even though you need a heart transplant you have to wait for that donor heart and the problem with waiting for a donor heart is we're going to keep coming back to that special word time and and that's just something that you're out of at this point enter Sankar Diaz total artificial heart it's kind of like a superhero comes in and save the day and it's a really special device and it's unique because it gives you the time that's necessary for you to wait for that donor heart one and then it also allows you the opportunity to prepare yourself to receive that transplanted heart because the surgeries are pretty extensive and very tough on the body oh what's really special especially considering where we're talking about this device it's actually made here in Tucson Arizona it's the only fda-approved Total Artificial heart in the country that that can be used and it's made right here in good old since our I could care less if you clap or not I don't make it I'm just saying anyway so but what do we have here is we have a pneumatically driven device all that means is that air pumps the pumps a device you have one or two choices a 70 cc or 270 cc or 250 cc biocompatible polyurethane ventricles there's four mechanical valves in the heart connected to two air hoses which we call drive lines which will be connected to some form of a driver right now we're in a portable version but we also have an in-house version that's a little bit bigger the only thing that goes through these hoses is air that's it so don't think blood happens to leak leave the heart or anything and that's all it takes I mean you know as far as like the device is concerned now when we go for implant and I think that's relatively easy to if that's believable as we go inside your chest we've removed the left and right ventricles we can attach what's left of your atria to our device we take two cannulas and attach to your pulmonary artery in your eighth order we close your chest exiting off the left side of the body will be your two air hoses and I guess going to be connected to one of two devices usually in the beginning you will be connected to a bigger device now once you're actually on the device you know is you have to kind of go back to like what really gets


somebody to this point and I go back and I think about this one young young lady who what since she was born she had heart problems her entire life and you know she was just so sick that she was unable to play outside have friends she was unable to go to school ever and just she just acquired you know racked up a lot of hospital bills so much so that her father actually had to take three jobs and he was just never home to pay for these bills and you understand like this is daddy's little girl she's like cheating on the planet too long pigtails these big brown eyes and whenever she hit you with her soft voice you're gonna do whatever she wants and that's just all there was to it so she got progressively is more sick and by the age of 12 she ends up in Tucson Arizona and this is where the doctors have to come and tell her you're out of time you need a transplant right now unfortunately there is no donor available however we do have this device that's called a total artificial heart we can implant that and what it will do is it will give you time to wait for that donor heart so she gets the device and the most amazing thing happens for this girl who's really been sick so long that you know getting up walking to the kitchen was just a chore for her all of a sudden she just comes to life because kids are resilient you get the blood flowing I mean it's just amazing just to like see her eyes light up and now she's smiling and laughing and playing with the little brother and her parents are just like man she's just you know she's never been like this in her life we got to you know have barbecues outside we got to like watch late-night movies and this was all around October so of course Halloween comes around and we get to take her trick-or-treating throughout the hospital which is something she's never done because walking to the front door let alone down the block to beg for candy just wasn't possible for her she dressed up as a princess and she really truly was you know like this artificial heart princess it was like adorable and just to see the look on her parents faces with their joy as well just to get to see their little girl who's been sick her whole life finally healthy she ends up getting a heart transplant and the hospital is just beaming everyone's so excited because we all adopted this girl you know normally we work with adults so when we get a kid we're just really excited just like Paula this is just the greatest thing ever and we're just you know think about all the things she's gonna get to do and just so fired up for her and then a week or so later she died and I remember walking on to the unit and as soon as the door opened I didn't even have to tell me I just felt the wave of emotion people from the doctors the nurses the PCTs I mean we're just we're just crushed and I see the mom and I give her a hug and I'm just upset and I just start apologizing telling her I don't know what we could have done I am so sorry I wish we could have just figured this out we I just feel like we failed you and she stepped back and looked at me like I was crazy she was just kind of like what are you talking about she said during the time she was on the device she was healthier than she's ever been in her life she's never felt so good they had so much fun as actual as a family her father was there every single day the person that she actually craved to be with more than anyone because like I said she was daddy's little girl and that was just tough to know that this told you a little girl passed away but what really saved me personally was just hearing a mom tell us about how awesome it was as a family when she was actually on this device so when we go back to that question about how much time was you need knowing that you're gonna die that day for this family it was a month and they were very grateful for that I think about another friend of mine who was actually on this device and I say friend because if you're a patient in the hospital with me you got two weeks to be a patient after that we're just friends and so all the rules are just going to change and so my friend his story goes as a youngster he was highly active and pretty athletic and loved baseball he's really good at baseball and had aspirations of playing in the major leagues but life is a funny way of changing things up and he got really sick which ultimately you know destroyed his heart now at this teenage age you know all this takes place he starts thinking differently unlike other people where he's not really able to envision a future further than 30 which to me is a bit of a trip because I couldn't imagine being 16 or 17 thinking that I'm not gonna live past 30 maybe I won't get married or have kids so this is his reality now of course he ends up getting married to a wonderful woman and they have children but unfortunately is getting progressively sicker and it just gets to a point where the doctors tell him you know what someday you're gonna need a heart transplant and it's like okay so they does all the things that you're supposed to do with meds and this and that waiting for your transplant but it never comes and he just gets worse welcome to Tucson Arizona where we love when if you're really sick come here and so get to the hospital and the doctor walks in and says you know it's really bad you need a transplant now again yeah thing like this is this is a this is a husband and a father and they're telling him like this is it you know if you don't do something now you're going to die and so he's hopeful he's like oh well maybe if did the heart transfer is gonna come so let's not necessarily rush the surgery for a total and official heart but as life would have it decisions are made for him and we end up in surgery and we implant this device now coming into this surgery he was pretty decompensated pretty sick so once we get him upstairs it's pretty scary at this point we're really kind of rushing around trying to figure out what's going on like why isn't this just kicking right in for him you know and I believe there's a lot of factors that go into play especially having such a serious surgery and you're in you're already sick and on top of that his lovely wife happens to be up in the


room and you meet her you're just like that is this the nicest sweetest person in the world so I can't have her upset or crying because I don't wanna be responsible for that so I'm thinking dude you you better live not that I'm worried about you per se I just can't be responsible for her upset so it works out you know he comes through we start working with them he starts rehabbing he's getting stronger he graduates from our bigger device to this freedom portable device ends up getting to go home to spend time with his kids while he's waiting for a transplant and overall this despot a year and some change that he's actually on this device he's doing things that he couldn't do before the device you see him doing pull-ups he's hiking with his children I'm not saying he's like rock climbing or anything like that but you know he's doing things that he couldn't do before and on top of that he is the only person to ever do the pat tillman 4.2 race without a heart yeah that's pretty crazy right so next time you want to stay on your couch think about this guy so he comes back he gets this heart gets a transplant and the interesting thing was is from all the training we've done and working with him his response after surgery with the heart transplant was night and day compared to what it was like when he had to total artificial heart and so he recovers everything's going well and you know she gets out the hospital he's already making honey plans and all this other kinds of stuff I mean just ready to live life it was really interesting and kind of cool at least for me is he's actually in the audience right now he and his wife are both here right now what makes that so special is because I know because of the device that I'm holding in my hand right now is why he's here you take away this device he's not here to hear me speak right now that blows my mind because I love this guy I think it's why it's cooler but I love this guy and when I go back to time from his perspective as a teenager thinking he's not gonna live to thirty but now with this new lease on life he's taking 30 more years 40 more years I got you know see my kids graduate all these types of things that that's pretty cool cuz now he's got more time now I know this is about home is where the heart is and as corny as this is gonna sound for me personally home is where the artificial heart is because it's made in Tucson Arizona live long and prosper Queensborough Community College.

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ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY PERSONAL STATEMENT  
ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY PERSONAL STATEMENT  
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