The first total artificial heart implant in New England was performed last February on a 66-year-old retired high school teacher and track and field coach from Holbrook, who was diagnosed last year with a rapidly deteriorating condition that would have caused total heart failure.
The artificial heart that James Carelli received at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is intended as a bridge to a human heart transplant. Doctors diagnosed Carelli with cardiac senile amyloidosis, and they determined that his only option for survival was to receive the artificial heart while he awaits the transplant. He is on the waiting list for a heart transplant, as well as a kidney transplant.
The hospital had not previously announced the procedure
Physicians said that Carelli’s condition has improved dramatically. During a news conference Thursday morning, Carelli said he feels great, although he must remain in the hospital because of kidney problems until a human heart is found.