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The transplant recipients invite you

Published by Cyril Grither on April 6, 2023

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has protect your heart

With 400 deaths per day in France, cardiovascular diseases are still just as dangerous even if their treatment has progressed considerably. The members of Midi Cardio Greffes Occitanie can attest to this. Since 1992, this association has brought together heart and/or lung transplant recipients and, for the past year, people with cardiac assistance in order to support them, raise awareness of organ donation and support research.

“We also need to do prevention. By acting on risk factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, tobacco, alcohol and diet, we can act and prevent, in certain people, heart failure and therefore transplant, summarizes Thieny Gesson. , president of Midi Cardio Greffes since 2008 and national president of heart/lung transplant recipients. A heart transplant recipient for 17 years, Thierry Gesson has continued to convey his enthusiasm and optimism.

Machine assistance too

Since the start of 2022, the heart transplant department of Toulouse University Hospital, at Rangueil hospital, has carried out 20 transplants, a little more than in 2021 (15) and than in 2020, a complicated year in due to bed closures during the Covid-19 pandemic. But this activity does not make it possible to meet the entire waiting list (an active queue of at least 20 people each year) and not all patients are eligible for a heart transplant.

In cases of advanced heart failure, a cardiac assistance machine may be offered, for the long term as well as while waiting for the transplant. Since 2008, approximately

130 devices were implanted in patients monitored at the Toulouse University Hospital. This is the case of Jean-Louis Boulet, 62 years old, resident of. Ariège, carrier of this heart machine" for four years and on the waiting list for a transplant. "I'm lucky, everything is going well with my machine, I don't have any infectious problems or rejection but I recognize that this assistance weighs on my daily life. I learned to adapt to the machine which operates with a constant flow rate.

During the Open Heart Day, Pascal Mahi, 32 years old from Tarnais: had only one desire: to forget his daily life transformed by a heart attack which had occurred two years earlier. “Without the assistance of the machine, I would not be here but, in my case, the infections follow one another around the cable, I see six nurses a day, I can no longer work or program anything,” testifies - he. However, he came to listen to the perspectives that are opening up: the thinking carried out by a Toulouse start-up made up of engineers and doctors to develop an innovative cardiac assistance device or, for less serious patients, the repair of the heart muscle by stem cells around the European Cardio patch project. The transplant of a genetically modified pig heart is not on the agenda in Toulouse, but this progress made in the United States opens up avenues in the face of the shortage of grafts.

Emmanuelle Rey

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