Hahnemann Press Release on Death of James Quinn
Fifth artificial heart patient dies
Philadelphia heart "hero" succumbs at Hahnemann University Hospital
PHILADELPHIA, PA (August 26, 2002) - Louis Samuels, M.D., Surgical Director of the Cardiac Transplant team at Drexel University College of Medicine and Hahnemann University Hospital, sadly announced that Mr. James Quinn, fifth AbioCor artificial heart patient, suffered a fatal stroke on Friday, August 23rd. Despite efforts to improve his condition, he became unresponsive that evening and was withdrawn from life support today. His artificial heart was implanted almost ten months ago on November 5, 2001.
A special prayer was said by Reverend John Lewis on Saturday, August 24th, as his wife Irene, immediate family, Dr. Samuels, nurse practitioner Elena Holmes and patient advocate Sheldon Zink held hands around Mr. Quinn's bed. "It was an extremely sad moment," remarked Dr. Samuels. "James Quinn was a very special man. He was a courageous man. He became part of my family and I will truly miss him."
"Mr. Quinn was an inspiration to us all. His courage, and that of his wife, Irene, and their family, was remarkable," said Michael P. Halter, chief executive officer at Hahnemann University Hospital. "His never-give-up spirit and desire to help others will live on in the fight against heart disease. Our utmost respect and deepest sympathies go out to Irene and the entire family."
Dr. Samuels added, "In every aspect, James Quinn was a hero. He fulfilled his wish to be a pioneer, to live a little longer to see his grandchildren, and to contribute something to mankind. He was a loving husband, always wanting his wife around. He was a devoted friend, remembering names and stories of so many people. And he endeared the lives of all those he came in contact with at the hospital. He will be remembered for his courage and bravery."
Mr. Quinn's death comes almost two months after celebrating his 52nd birthday with friends and family at Hahnemann University Hospital. In the months preceding his stroke, James was able to take several excursions from the hospital with the aid of Holmes. He was able to attend church, be home for his wedding anniversary, go to a comedy club, take trips to his house and interact with his grandchildren, family and friends from his neighborhood.
"It was very nice to see James in his element," remarked Dr. Samuels. "I watched him joke with his friends, fuss with his cat and be with his grandson. It was the happiest I'd seen him."
"The entire clinical trial team at Drexel University College of Medicine and Hahnemann University Hospital are honored to have known James and provided him with additional months to spend with his grandchildren and family. Our sympathy goes out to his family," said Warren Ross, M.D., Dean of the Drexel University College of Medicine.
The Quinn family is grateful for the continuing support of the community and has asked for privacy during this time of sorrow.
Dr. Samuels and the clinical team will not be available for interviews at this time.
Hahnemann University Hospital is a 618-bed teaching facility specializing in cardiac and transplantation services, orthopedics, neurological services, OB/GYN, medical, surgical and radiation oncology, bone marrow transplantation, renal dialysis and kidney/pancreas transplantation. In 1986, Hahnemann became Philadelphia's first Level I Regional Resource Trauma Center for adults and, since then, it has been served by University MedEvac, an aeromedical transport program for critically ill patients. Today, Hahnemann's cardiac program ranges from routine outpatient studies to heart transplantation. It also functions as a premier referral center for outlying hospitals. Hahnemann University Hospital is affiliated with Drexel University College of Medicine and is part of Tenet HealthSystem.
Drexel University College of Medicine, formerly MCP Hahnemann University, is the largest private medical schools in the national. It includes the first medical college for women in the U.S. and it is one of the largst centers for spinal cord research in the Mid-Atlantic regions.
Based in Danvers, Massachusetts, ABIOMED, Inc. (pronounced "AB'-EE-O-MED") is a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical products designed to assist or replace the pumping function of the failing heart. The Company's AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart is being implanted in patients as part of an initial clinical trial conducted under an Investigational Device Exemption from the United States Food and Drug Administration. The AbioCor has not been approved for commercial distribution, and is not available for use or sale outside of the initial clinical trial. ABIOMED currently manufactures and sells the BVS, a heart assist device for the temporary support of all patients with failing but potentially recoverable hearts.