Medicine: Living on Borrowed Time

Barney Clark gets the first permanent artificial heart

Shortly after he awoke last Thursday morning in Salt Lake City, Barney Clark recognized the familiar sight and voice of his wife Una Loy, who was near by. There was also an unfamiliar noise: a soft, rhythmical clicking coming from his chest. And he realized, to his surprise, that he was still alive.

Clark, a 61-year-old retired dentist from Des Moines, Wash., had just become the first human to receive a permanently implanted artificial heart. As he stirred to consciousness, Clark signaled Surgeon William DeVries that...

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