Man Who Got Bionic, Human Hearts Dies : First Recipient of Penn State Heart Dies

Associated Press

Anthony Mandia, the first recipient of the Penn State temporary artificial heart, died Thursday after 18 days of life with a human donor heart.

Mandia, 44, died at 2:35 p.m. from "organ system failure secondary to overwhelming infection," Milton S. Hershey Medical Center spokesman Carl Andrews said.

Andrews, in a telephone interview, said no additional information will be released before a news conference Friday morning.

The Penn State heart, developed by Dr. William Pierce at Hershey Medical Center, is only designed to be used as a bridge until donor hearts can be found.

Mandia, a former Philadelphia recreation department worker, had the plastic-and-metal heart sewed into his chest Oct. 18 when it became apparent his own heart was about to fail.

He had been on a roller coaster recovery since undergoing transplant surgery Oct. 28 to receive the heart of a 30-year-old woman who died in a West Virginia hospital.

He had been in critical and unstable condition since Nov. 6.

Just hours before his death, Andrews reported a deterioration in his condition. He was suffering from unstable blood pressure, poor kidney function and an infection in his chest.

He was the world's 10th artificial heart patient but only the fifth to receive one on a temporary basis.

He was a bachelor.

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