Wearing your heart on your sleeve is an idiom we have all heard growing up. In this case, this man carries it in a bag.
Meet 26-year-old bodybuilder Andrew Jones from Conneticut. “I am happy to be alive,” says Andrew who is leading his life with an artificial heart that he carries everywhere along with him in a back pack.
It was during a run in 2012 when Andrew suddenly felt the need to struggle for a breath and eventually suffered from a heart failure. What amplified his horror was the fact that he even started coughing up blood.
Andrew eventually had to go under surgery after he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.
Cardiomyopathy refers to the diseases of heart muscle in which the heart muscle becomes thick, enlarged or rigid and these diseases has signs, symptoms and treatments.
For a patient suffering from this disease the heart becomes less capable of pumping the blood in body and maintain normal electric rhythm which later leads to failure of heart and irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias.
The machine delivers compressed air into the ventricles to allow blood to be pumped through the body.
Within a few weeks of the diagnosis of the disease, Andrew became so weak that he could not even stand properly.
Doctors then told him that he needed to get an immediate heart transplant, failing which, he could die soon.
Unable to arrange for another heart for the transplant, doctors fitted him with an artificial one, which he now carries along with him.
His artificial heart has two tubes in place of his actual heart which carries blood in his body through a machine.
Despite his encounter with death, Andrew is now back at the gym and sometimes cries out of happiness after workout.
“It's something I would never want to wish upon my worst enemy,” Andrew says about his heart disease.
“You can't breathe, you can't think, you don't eat and you don't sleep.”
Andrew said the fight with the disease is one that takes a toll on you physically as well as mentally.
“Living with this disease put me in a pattern with depression and physical pain. I had to stop working because I wouldn't be able to stand for more than 10 minutes,” he said.
“I dreaded going to the kitchen because that meant that I had to go up and down my stairs,” he added.