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.
Sep. 2013 Miracle Stories
Boating Accident Nearly Paralyses Young Woman. Link opens story page.
In September 2013, Danielle Press suffered life-threatening injuries in a boating accident off the coast of Key Biscayne – the very place where her father is police chief.Explore in story page.
Jan. 2007 Jackson History
Six Organs Removed To Eliminate Tumor. Link opens story page.
In 2007, surgeons successfully removed six organs to get to a tumor wrapped around Brooke Zepp’s aorta.Explore in story page.
Apr. 1946 Jackson History
Jackson’s First Chief of Staff, Dr. Skaggs, Dies. Link opens story page.
In 1946, Jackson’s First Chief of Staff, Dr. Skaggs, died. He was a pioneer physician, treating minorities during a time of deep segregation.Explore in story page.