Murray P. Haydon "is progressing as expected" one week after his diseased heart was replaced by a plastic-and-metal implant, a hospital official said Sunday.
"All his vital signs are normal, and the Jarvik-7 artificial heart is working perfectly," Humana Hospital Audubon spokesman Robert Irvine said.
Haydon, meanwhile, drank liquids Sunday, as doctors hoped that a change from tube feeding would help resolve the kidney problems that he has experienced since before the artificial heart implant, Irvine said.
Lost 25 Pounds
Haydon's mild renal failure has prevented his body from absorbing nutrition normally, and he lost 25 pounds in the 2 1/2 weeks before the Feb. 17 implant.
"As his kidney function continues to improve, Haydon is now taking all the food he wants by mouth, which should help to fully resolve the problem," Irvine said.
"Dr. (William C.) DeVries will then order solid foods for the first time."
Irvine did not say what Haydon drank, continuing DeVries' promise last week to release fewer comments about the artificial heart patients. DeVries said he believed that the media attention was having an adverse effect on them.
Haydon, 58, a retired auto assembly line worker, was allowed out of bed for about 20 minutes Saturday and was connected for the first time to the portable drive unit that powers the heart.
Schroeder Attends Party
DeVries, the only surgeon with federal approval to perform implant surgery, hoped to get Haydon out of bed again this week, Irvine said.
Meanwhile, William J. Schroeder, who on Nov. 25 became the second artificial heart recipient, relaxed Sunday after attending a party for his son the night before.
"He joined doctors and hospital staff in the doctors' lounge for an informal party for his son, Terry," Irvine said. "He stayed for about 2 1/2 hours and enjoyed himself immensely."
One of Schroeder's goals since beginning his recovery has been to attend his son's March 16 wedding in their hometown of Jasper, Ind.
Those plans were set back by a series of strokes on Dec. 13--which left Schroeder temporarily paralyzed--and a fever that for more than two weeks caused his body temperature to fluctuate between 98.6 and 105 degrees.
The fever disappeared last week, and although his speech remains impaired and he suffers short-term memory loss, doctors said that Schroeder will be allowed to attend the wedding "if we have to fly him there in a helicopter."
A "halfway" house across the street from the hospital has been furnished and special alterations completed for Schroeder. Doctors have indicated that he could be moved out of the hospital this week.