Schroeder’s Family Hopes New Apartment Will Boost Morale
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ William Schroeder’s family is hoping a short move will make a big improvement in his morale when he becomes the first person with an artificial heart to live outside a hospital.
Schroeder’s new home, a nearby apartment, will be staffed by private nurses and equipped with machinery to power his heart. He is to go there Saturday.
His peer at the hospital, Murray Haydon, took a wheelchair ride Wednesday in his coronary-care room and was off a respirator for a short time, Ms. Broadus said. He is eating ice chips and Popsicles, she said.
Haydon, 58, of Louisville, received his Jarvik-7 heart on Feb. 17.
Doctors from Humana Hospital Audubon will make regular house calls to Schroeder’s apartment if he is released as planned.
Schroeder’s son, Mel, said his family hoped the move will improve the patient’s spirits and health.
″We’re looking forward to it helping Dad out,″ he said Thursday. ″We’re hoping it will eventually lead to him coming back to Jasper,″ Ind., his hometown.
When informed of the moving plans, Schroeder ″reacted by smiling and indicating he was pleased,″ said hospital spokeswoman Linda Broadus.
Doctors have not said how long Schroeder should remain near the hospital before returning to his hometown 90 miles away.
″He’s the first one to make it that far, so they really don’t know,″ Mel Schroeder said. ″It just depends on how well he does.″
″He’ll have all the same care he had at the hospital, with only one exception - he’ll have home cooking,″ Humana spokesman Robert Irvine said.
The apartment, across the street from the hospital where Schroeder has lived since the heart was implanted Nov. 25, is in a building purchased and renovated by Humana for heart patients.
Schroeder was strong enough to leave the hospital early last week, implant surgeon William DeVries said, but the move was delayed until nurses were trained to use the 323-pound Utahdrive power source for the mechanical heart.