Oz woman used car's cigarette lighter to recharge her failing heart

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Melbourne, May 24 (ANI): An Australian woman, who underwent a heart transplant, is said to have used her car's cigarette lighter to recharge her old failing heart as she drove along.

Anne Britten, 43, a mother of two from Wee Waa, was born with her heart on the right side, a condition complicated by her other organs being out of place or facing about.

She had been on the transplant list for "three years, three months and six days" revealed her husband Robert, and she had survived the past two years on her failing old heart thanks to a mechanical enhancement - the Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD).

When it required recharging, Britten would, while driving, calmly plug its lead into the car's cigarette lighter.

In an Australia-first operation performed on Mother's Day by the St Vincent's Hospital cardiac transplant team led by Dr Paul Jansz, Britten received a donor heart that was fitted to her left side.

"I'm feeling good," News.com.au quoted her as saying.

"It hasn't really hit yet. It might when we eventually go home and walk down our main street and it takes two hours because everyone will be pulling me up talking to me.

"The boys have never known me not sick. They're going to be in for rude shock," she added about her two children Stephen, 16 and Blake, 14.

Hailing from Manilla - the same town as Fiona Coote, Australia's youngest heart-transplant recipient - Britten said the prospect of leading a normal and lengthy life is a "bit like pressing the restart button".

"It's a Mother's Day present that's going to be hard to top. Breakfast in bed is just not going to cut it," Robert stated.

Dr Jansz said the operation was possible only due to the sustaining effect of the LVAD. Before receiving it, Britten was "down to 56kg and deteriorating rapidly".

Dr Jansz said NSW was the only state without government funding for lifesaving mechanical assist devices. (ANI)

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