Man Lives Without Heart
Louis James Quarterman underwent a heart transplant in 1993. Twelve years later, in 2005, he started showing symptoms of rejection. He was short of breath, tired, and his cardiologist referred him to Jackson’s transplant program.
During a 10-hour operation at Jackson Memorial Hospital, UM/Jackson surgeon Dr. Si Pham removed Louis’s failing heart and connected a left and a right ventricular assist device (VAD) to his aorta. Two clear plastic pumps, each about the size of a man’s fist, rested on the outside of Louis’s stomach, ticking along like clocks. Four synthetic tubes ran out of his chest, carrying blood to and from the pumps. The pumps were powered by a washing machine-sized unit that plugs into a power outlet, and was meant to keep him alive only until a suitable organ donor could be found.
At the age of 61, Louis had no heart. He was the first Floridian to hold that unenviable distinction.
He received a new heart on June 8, 2006, and a new kidney two days later. At first, his body rejected the new organs, but after two months of treatment, his condition stabilized and he began rebuilding physical strength.
In September 2006, Louis was discharged from Jackson Memorial.
Nov. 1965 Medical Firsts
Steamship Fire Leads to Burn Services and New Treatment. Link opens story page.
On November 1965, a devastating fire onboard the SS Yarmouth Castle killed 90. Five of the surviving victims were flown to Jackson for treatment with silver nitrate.Explore in story page.
Feb. 2018 Employee Stories
Work Is Where the Heart Is. Link opens story page.
Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to do something special with my life– make people feel good about themselves, educate others, be outdoors, play sports, and have fun.Explore in story page.