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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 June, 2005, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Patient's pioneering heart pump
George Carter
George Carter, 57, has been fitted with a new heart pump
A patient at Papworth Hospital near Cambridge has become the first person outside Australia to get a revolutionary artificial heart.

George Carter, 57, from Romford, Essex, has been fitted with a VentrAssist - which is a sixth of the size of traditional heart pumps.

The pump, pioneered in Australia, runs off a battery and could be an alternative to heart transplants.

Following the operation on 26 May, Mr Carter left hospital on Tuesday.

Image of VentrAssist
The device sits between the heart and the ribs

The VentrAssist is powered by a rechargeable battery pack, which the patient wears on an external belt or backpack.

Steven Tsui, the consultant cardiac surgeon who leads the Papworth team which performed the operation, said: "We are delighted to see Mr. Carter doing so well now, having been very ill for some months beforehand.

"His quality of life has been transformed with the VentrAssist and he can safely go home to wait for a suitable donor heart and have a heart transplant.

"We are very excited to be involved with this clinical trial and so far, we have been most impressed by the device."

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