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Schroeder’s Trip To Wedding Still Up In the Air

March 12, 1985

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Artificial heart patient William Schroeder won’t know until the last minute whether he is well enough to attend his son’s wedding Saturday, a member of the bride’s family says.

The 90-mile trip to Jasper, Ind., would be a milestone for Schroeder, who has been in Humana Hospital Audubon since he received the implant Nov. 25.

On Monday, Schroeder and Murray Haydon, the only other surviving artificial heart recipient, met face to face and shook hands at the hospital.

″We’ll have to get together, now that we’re neighbors,″ Haydon said, according to Bob Irvine, Humana Inc.’s director of public relations.

Haydon, who received his plastic and metal heart on Feb. 17, was listed in serious condition. He was moved out of the hospital’s coronary care unit into a private room next to Schroeder’s on Monday, Irvine said.

The patients had previously waved to one another at least once but had not spoken.

Schroeder has been on a therapy program for the past three weeks, regaining strength for the possible trip to the wedding of his son, Terry, 25, to Julie Schnarr, 22.

Even if Schroeder misses the wedding ceremony at his Catholic church, he may get to see the bride and groom in a dress rehearsal at the hospital.

Ms. Schnarr is considering bringing the wedding party to Louisville late this week, just in case Schroeder is unable to get to Jasper, her brother said.

″We won’t know until the last minute whether he can come up,″ Dan Schnarr told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

″They’ve said they may take the whole wedding party down there, say, Thursday night for a mock wedding,″ Schnarr said.

″A decision on the Jasper wedding trip will be made later this week by the family, and will be based on his medical condition at that time,″ Irvine said in a tape-recorded statement. But Schroeder’s family physician, Dr. J.P. Salb, said the final decision would be made by implant surgeon William C. DeVries.

Salb said doctors are worried about the possible effects of excitement on Schroeder’s recovery from a series of strokes suffered 18 days after the implant.

″It’s a lot of stress for a patient recovering from a stroke,″ he said. ″His heart seems to be fine; it’s the stroke that has to be contended with here.″

Saturday will be Schroeder’s 112th day with the mechanical hear. The first recipient of the Jarvik-7, Barney Clark, died on his 112th day with the device.

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