Artificial heart assists a patient awaiting transplant


Banner - University Medicine Institutes
Trent Lunsford received the gift of
time, new hope, and an artificial
heart that kept him alive until he
received a heart transplant
127 days later.

Valley resident Trent Lunsford, 48, learned he was in late-stage heart failure last year and would need a heart transplant, joining some 4,000 people on a nationwide waiting list—39 of them in Arizona.

With his chances of survival dwindling, Lunsford suddenly had new hope in the form of a procedure so rare that only four physicians in the world are certified to teach it. One of them, Dr. Francisco Arabia, happened to be practicing at the Banner – University Medicine Heart Institute in Phoenix.

Lunsford became the first patient to receive an artificial heart, thanks to Dr. Arabia and fellow cardiologist, Dr. Radha Gopalan. He still needed a new heart, but this technological innovation gave him the gift of time: 127 days, to be exact.

Trent received his heart transplant on December 22, 2018, and today, feels better than ever.

The artificial heart is just one of many innovations emerging at Banner – University Medicine, thanks to philanthropic investment. Read more about Banner – University Medicine Institutes.