DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A North Carolina man was released from the hospital and is home with his family nearly three months after becoming the first person in the country to receive a new-generation artificial heart at Duke Hospital.
The little moments that most take for granted mean the world to Matthew Moore.
“I’m able to be home with my son here and my wife, and it’s just been a blessing for sure,” he said.
There were times when his family wasn’t certain he’d make it home. Moore’s heart stopped multiple times after he was diagnosed with heart failure in June.
“I was technically dead for about 45 minutes and they brought me back,” he recalled.
“There were a lot of days I was scared,” his wife Rachel added.
Hope came in the form of a new-generation artificial heart, designed to keep him alive until he can receive a transplant. Moore became the country’s first recipient of the device during surgery at Duke. His wife, who’s a nurse, called the technology “amazing.”
“Just having him sitting here with me right now, as a nurse, I know it was miraculous. It is nothing but a miracle,” she said.
After more than three months in the hospital, Moore on Friday received some final reminders about the device. Then it was time to go home.
Rachel Moore will never forget the moment her husband and 3-year-old son shared.
“Watching Marshall run to him as he came out the front door, that is a mental image I plan to keep for a very, very long time,” she said.
The family lives in Shallotte but is renting a house in Durham for the next several months to be closer to Duke while Matthew waits on a transplant and has regular medical appointments.
At home, there are frequent checks on batteries, power supplies, and everything the artificial heart needs to function.
There is also plenty of laughter.
Rachel Moore described her husband as “the biggest Duke fan you could ever meet.”
“He has always wanted a tie to Duke, and there were so many other ways we could’ve gone about this,” she joked.
A joke, a puzzle, simply enjoying family time are all moments the Moore family celebrates.
“You just kind of sit back,” Rachel Moore said, “and say how thankful you are.”