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Jordan Merecka: Teen's Artificial Heart Is Powered Through His Backpack

An 18-year-old with a temporary artificial heart headed home yesterday from the Texas Children's Hospital.

Normally Jordan Merecka would have to stay hooked up to a 400-pound machine called "Big Blue" to power the temporary heart, but new developments make it possible for him to head home to Cypress.

Technology has made the machine required to power his heart much smaller and, like with any teen, it goes into a backpack.

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"It was always our plan to move Jordan to the Freedom driver as soon as he was strong enough and had met all the protocol guidelines," said Dr. David L.S. Morales, pediatric cardiovascular surgeon at Texas Children's Heart Center. "Jordan has been hospitalized for several months and is missing out on being at home and seeing his friends. The team who manages Jordan's care realizes that he will gain a morale boost by being out of the hospital enjoying a more active teen life as he waits for heart transplantation."

Merecka will be able to fish and hang with friends, and he'll be taking online college courses aimed at getting a marine biology degree from Texas A&M.

"Having Jordan home again is the best gift in the world," said his mother Suzanne Merecka. "The artificial heart was a blessing when he needed it desperately and his father and I are glad that Texas Children's could offer a life-saving option when things looked very grim. He still has a heart transplant in his future, but the artificial heart has helped him grow stronger. He will be ready when the time comes."

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