She is known as Selwa Hussain — the woman with no heart in her body.
Selwa who is aged 39 has two (2) children, a boy aged five and an 18-month-old girl.
Her case is a rare one in the world as she carries her artificial heart in her bag.
She underwent a life-saving operation so radical that she ended up carrying her heart around in a rucksack.
The Ilford woman became the second woman in the UK to leave hospital with an artificial heart.
What Selwa’s “heart in a bag” contains and how it works
The bag (backpack) containing her artificial heart which weighs 15lb has batteries, an electric motor, and a pump.
The 2 sets of batteries power the motor with a second unit on standby in another backpack in case the first one fails.
The pump pushes air through tubes to power plastic chambers in her chest for blood circulation to take place in her body.
Salwa, has for the past months, been surviving and kept alive by her “heart in a bag” which pushes blood around her body at 138 beats per minute in a rhythm which causes her chest to vibrate.
There is a constant pumping and whirring noise from the motor in the backpack that she wears when she goes out or leaves on the floor when at home.
The two large plastic tubes connected to the backpack enter her body through her tummy button and travel up to her chest. They then fill two balloons inside her chest cavity with air, which work like the chambers of a real heart to push blood round her body.
According to the experts who examined Selwa’s failed heart, she had a condition called cardiomyopathy which, in very rare cases, can be triggered by pregnancy.
When Selwa first complained of chest pains, GPs mistakenly thought she was suffering from a digestive illness.
How Selwa’s £86,000 artificial heart was fitted
The £86,000 artificial heart – made by an American company – was fitted during a six-hour operation performed by surgeon Diana Garcia Saez, and assisted by Harefield’s head of transplantation surgery, Mr Andre Simon. Harefield is the only UK centre that uses the device.
Selwa said: ‘Harefield have been absolutely magnificent. They came up with a solution that allowed me to stay alive to see the New Year in with my family. For that I am eternally grateful.’
Mr Simon said: ‘The operation went very well and Selwa’s recovery has been excellent.’ Only one other person in Britain has gone home with an artificial heart. It followed surgery at Papworth Hospital, Cambridgeshire, in 2011.
After a two-year wait, the 50-year-old man had a successful heart transplant and is still alive today. The hope is that Selwa will also get a transplant.
How Selwa’s case began
Selwa Husein’s astonishing story started with the terrible feeling of not being able to breathe enough to keep herself going.
She managed to drag herself to the car and drove 200 yards down the road to see her family doctor in Clayhall, Essex.
Selwa was from there sent to a local hospital where she was told she was suffering from severe heart failure.
After four days, Selwa was rushed by an ambulance to the world-famous Harefield Hospital where cardiologists battled to save her life.
She was too ill to stay alive on a support pump to help her failing heart – and too ill to be given a heart transplant.
After her husband Al agreed for her dying wife to be saved, surgeons removed Selwa’s natural and replaced with it with an artificial implant and the specialist unit (bag) on her back.
Selwa has 90 seconds to connect to life
With her backpack or bag on, Salwa’s husband Al or another caretaker must constantly be around her to monitor her situation.
And just in case disaster strikes, they have 90 seconds to connect her to the backup machine.
Source: George Awiadem Maclean | BieGyaNation.Com