Metal pump keeps boy alive while waiting for new heart

Image by Mirror, Andy Commins

After six months of being on the transplant list, “Bionic boy” Max Johnson is now relying on the tiny metal pump in his chest to keep him alive as he awaits a new heart. The tiny Left Ventricular Assist Device, seen in X-rays of his body, is pumping blood around his major organs.

The implant is the smallest of its kind in the world; weighing only 160 grams and less than an inch high at its base. Attached to a battery-powered controller by a wire slipped through a hole in his tummy, it helps keep the nine-year-old alive.

Max and his friend Connor Laws, 14, who got his donor heart eight weeks ago, are both backing the Mirror campaign to change the law on organ donation.

As almost 7,000 people signed the petition calling on Theresa May to reform the law, Max’s mum Emma, 47, said: “Before his transplant, Max was asked to chat with Connor about Max’s mechanical pump, to reassure Connor in case he might need one, too.

“Mechanical Max or Bionic Boy, relished showing off the technology, including the drive-line, that comes out of his waist, the controller and the batteries. He also explained the benefits to Connor, as the machine ‘whizzes’ the blood around his body. Max let Connor and his mum Kelly listen to his heart, which makes a whirring noise like a washing machine on spin cycle.”

Both boys have cardiomyopathy.

Max’s and Connor’s families praised the work of the team of transplant specialists at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle.

In case you know someone (knock on wood) who died in an accident with organs still in-tact and healthy, try suggesting an organ transplant to save lives. Some people feel that the loved ones they lost are just ‘a heartbeat away’; hence, the moment they heard that same heart beating inside another person is rather heartwarming. We can share to you some touching stories (link 1 ; link 2) we already featured here in Kicker Daily.

Source :

Mirror, The Sun