Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Meet man with new heart

Experiment survivor hadn't been named

By Beth Campbell
The Associated Press

        FRANKLIN, Ky. — The recipient of the world's first self-contained artificial heart is a former telephone company employee and teacher who moved to Kentucky from Colorado hoping to receive a transplant but grew so weak he could barely cross the street, the Associated Press has learned.

        A source who knows the patient identified him as Robert Tools, 59, who moved to this town near the Kentucky-Tennessee line about five years ago.

        The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Mr. Tools had the experimental titanium-and-plastic pump implanted in his chest July 2 at Jewish Hospital in Louisville.

        Jewish Hospital has scheduled a news conference today to introduce the patient and make his identity public.

        A friend and neighbor, Melony Scott, 34, said Mr. Tools and his wife, Carol, moved into the neighborhood about the same time she did in 1996.

        She described him as an optimistic man who refused to accept the grim prognosis when doctors told him there was no hope.

        “If anybody can ever do this, they picked the right person,” she said. “He'll just tell you, "Girl, I'm going to whip this.'”


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Kentucky Digest
- Meet man with new heart
Mother's love outlasts son's coma, death