Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS
CNN TV
EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS


CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Surviving Artificial Heart Implant Patient Goes Home

Aired April 16, 2002 - 10:40   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: You're looking now at a live picture that we're getting in from Louisville, Kentucky. And we're about to hear the name of man who now is a record breaker, Tom Christersen (ph), who has been living now with an Abicor artificial heart for seven months. This is his son, Ken.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

KEN CHRISTERSEN, SON: ... for seven months now, and it's been great, but it's time to go home. We want to be sure and thank everybody from Jewish all the way from the hospital, all the way over at the inn (ph), everybody that's been above and beyond the call of duty. Both doctors, Gray and Allen. Everybody has been wonderful, the nursing staff. I just can't say enough. It's just -- they've just been great.

Gosh, I don't know. Everybody at the PR department has been great with us. It's kind of been fun. But dad, he's ready to go. He would have left Friday if they would have let him. Tell him to keep him here a little bit longer.

And I guess that's it. Just thanks to all of you all. This experience has be great. And we're ready to continue at in another spot.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Ken.

What we will do now is I'm going to ask some questions of Tom that you all have given us. If there is something that you feel we've left out, we'll be happy to entertain that. But today is about Tom. Dr. Dowling and Dr. Gray are on doing their different lines of duty as they normally do each day, and while they wish Tom well, they said today is about Tom and nothing else; he's going home.

So with that, Tom, let me ask you, how does it feel to be going home?

TOM CHRISTERSEN, ARTIFICIAL HEART RECIPIENT: Wonderful.

MODERATOR: Good.

And what are some of the things that you're planning to do?

CHRISTERSEN: Well, get home and get working around the house I guess, but my wife says I never walk around the house anyway, but since I'm mowing the lawn; I have not done that in 30 years (ph).

MODERATOR: So you are not going to start mowing the yard then.

CHRISTERSEN: No. And we might be on Birthday (ph) before the week is out. We have a boat down there on the lake, house boat, we might just mosey on down there.

MODERATOR: The Scooby Doo.

CHRISTERSEN: Scooby Doo.

We don't have anything in the house. Haven't been there so long, speed will have to go slower anyway; they have (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

MODERATOR: Do you have any limitations, Tom, on what you will be able to do?

CHRISTERSEN: I don't feel like I do, I feel like I'm pretty back to normal, and I can do as I please. But I feel like I'm going to (ph) have to get my breath back to give me a couple, three weeks at home, and I'll have it back.

MODERATOR: OK. Well, now being a little bit away from home I know there's a lot of training of nursing staff at Wilhemberg Community Hospital and EMS, and I you're own family, and of course you know how to do everything. But it's exciting. Are you at least the least bit frightened?

CHRISTERSEN: None whatsoever. We have some good doctors at home. We have some good care at home.

MODERATOR: Yes, you do, and I think, Ken, you were going to talk about some of the doctors at home and some of the nurses.

CHRISTERSEN: Yes, family doctor, Dr. Gary Givens, has been real good to us. He has been up and done the training. Stat care has been up and -- has been down to our part of the country to check everything out, and everything is checked out there, and everybody down there is ready. He's got physical therapy lined up there just like he does here. He will be doing it three times a week, and everybody there is trained and they're looking forward to him getting home.

HARRIS: As you see, the words on the screen say it all, "heartfelt homecoming." We are looking here at this press conference. Tom Christersen the man there you see on the left is going to be leaving hotel that the hospital has him set up in for quite some time.

He got the Abicor heart installed in his chest back on September 13th. He's had it now for some seven months, which is a record of sorts, and he is now going to be going home. The plans, he wants to walk around the house although he won't be mowing the lawn anytime soon. The wife say he hasn't done that anytime soon. He says he feels like he has no limitations and wants to get back to normal life.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top