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.
"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."
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.