Duke Hospital artificial heart recipient celebrates 40th birthday as he continues recovery

North Carolina

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Back in July, Matthew Moore received a new-generation artificial heart at Duke University Hospital.

It was a groundbreaking procedure. Not only because he was the first in the United States to receive it, but it can pump blood into both chambers of the heart instead of just one like a traditional implant.

In other words, it is a second shot at life.

“I feel wonderful actually. The device is working exceptionally well. I feel good,” Moore said.

In June, Moore was referred to Duke with heart failure. His condition was so bad, a traditional heart transplant became too dangerous.

CBS 17’s Nick Sturdivant caught up with Moore and his wife Rachel recently. The couple admitted life has been a balancing act since the operation.

As Matthew Moore continues his rehab, Rachel Moore goes back and forth between the hospital and home, in Brunswick County, which is more than two hours away.

“Rehab can sometimes be crazy. I’ve lost a lot of strength in my legs. So, I’m having to redevelop that [and] learn how to walk again,” Moore explained.

This past week, Moore celebrated his 40th birthday with balloons, cake, his wife and one of his biggest inspirations — their son Marshall.

“It motivates me. That has been my main motivation, is to see Marshall and get back with him. He is my world,” Moore said smiling.

While the Moore family is optimistic about the future, Rachel, who’s a nurse, has an important message.

“Everyone to go to the doctor. Don’t be afraid. Take responsibility for your health,” she said.

Moore said the goal is to be able to go home in a couple of weeks. His doctors say that means being able to walk a mile.

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