skip to content

The Man with Two Hearts

Jackson surgeon and patient with two hearts at Jackson Memorial Hospital

On June 6, 2002, Castelio Campos became the first person in Florida – and one of only about 100 in the United States – to have a donor heart implanted into his chest without removing his original, diseased heart.

Castelio thought his doctors were kidding when they described the procedure that would save his life.

The 65-year-old, who suffered from congestive heart failure and life-threatening pulmonary hypertension, had a heterotopic heart transplantation – a rare procedure performed only when a patient has irreversible pulmonary hypertension from heart failure or when a donor heart is from a much smaller person than the recipient. In such cases, the donor heart alone may not be strong enough to correct the problem.

In a 10-hour surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital, the two hearts were placed together to work in a cycle. His original heart pumps most of the deoxygenated blood through the pulmonary arteries to the lungs, while the donor heart pumps the oxygenated blood through the aorta to the rest of the body.

“I am grateful for this gift because it saved my life,” said Campos, a native of Cuba who spent 15 years in a Cuban prison in the sixties. “I’d rather be in jail ten times than lie in bed expecting to die.”

Share

Trending Stories

Kara French five-month-old transplant recipient Opens story page.

May. 2012 Miracle Stories

Five-month-Old Receives Life-Saving Liver Transplant

. Link opens story page.

In 2007, five-month-old Kara Ffrench and 46-year-old Victor Billingsley shared a donor liver in simultaneous surgeries hundreds of miles apart.

Explore in story page.
Miami city hospital and nurses Opens story page.

Dec. 1920 Jackson History

Miami City Hospital Launches its Training School for Nurses

. Link opens story page.

In 1923, Ainah V. Royce, R.N helps open the fully accredited Miami City Hospital Training School For Nurses to help with overflow of patients.

Explore in story page.
Dr. Si Pham, team and Louis James Quarterman press conference large Opens story page.

Sep. 2006 Medical Firsts

Man Lives Without Heart

. Link opens story page.

In 2006, during a 10-hour operation at Jackson, Dr. Pham removed a failing heart and connected a left and a right ventricular assist device (VAD) to the aorta.

Explore in story page.

Copyright 2018 Jackson Health System

Jackson health System