Murray Haydon Dies After 16 Months on Bionic Heart

United Press International

Murray P. Haydon, a retired auto worker who became the third person to undergo a permanent artificial heart implant, died today after being kept alive 16 months on the mechanical pump. He was 59.

Haydon’s death leaves William J. Schroeder as the world’s only surviving permanent artificial heart patient.

Humana Hospital Audubon, where pioneer Dr. William C. DeVries implanted Haydon’s pump on Feb. 17, 1985, did not announce the cause of death, but Haydon had recently been suffering kidney problems.


Haydon, who died nine days before his 60th birthday, lived one year, four months and two days with it but was never well enough to leave Humana except for brief outings.

Lung Complications

Within one month of his implant, a nagging lung complication forced DeVries to connect the white-haired Haydon to a respirator. Haydon never overcame the lung problems or the need for a respirator.

Haydon was called “the forgotten man” of the artificial heart program as media attention focused on Schroeder, who was more colorful and made a quicker recovery, although he was slowed by a stroke.

Schroeder received his Jarvik-7 three months before Haydon.

Haydon was eventually moved to a private room next to Schroeder’s, and on the first day they visited and shook hands. Haydon said, “We’ll have to get together now that we’re next-door neighbors.” Schroeder was still suffering from the effects of his first stroke and the hospital did not report his response.

Hooked to Respirator

Haydon was unable to get together much with his fellow patient. One week later, he was back in intensive care, hooked to a respirator to aid his breathing, which was hampered by an unexplained lung problem.

Haydon was able to make a bit of history May 19, 1985, when he took a ride in a wheelchair outside the walls of the hospital, joining Schroeder as the only artificial heart patients ever to venture outside the confines of the hospital.


However, Haydon never matched Schroeder’s greatest achievement--moving to a home outside the hospital. Haydon was originally chosen for the program because doctors believed his being from Louisville would make his transition to home life easier. It was never to be.

Five people have received permanent artificial hearts since December, 1982, when Barney Clark became the world’s first recipient.