Andrew Jones, from Conneticut, first became unwell in 2012 after struggling to breathe during a run. He was horrified when two years later he started to cough up blood and developed a high fever.
In hospital, doctors diagnosed the 26-year-old with cardiomyopathy – a hereditary disease of the heart muscle – and soon he became so weak he couldn’t stand, walk or dress himself. A few months later, medics told if he didn’t have a transplant immediately he would die. As there were no organs available, he was fitted with a pacemaker and an artificial heart – which he now carries around in a bag on his back.
Despite his brush with death, he is now back to the gym and said he cries after workouts as he feels so ‘thankful to be alive’.
Iron man was never real, until Andrew Jones came along. His heart runs on electricity, stored in the form of a battery, in place of a beating heart.
He awaits a donor for a new heart made of bone and flesh but until then he runs on the chemical reactions in a battery caused most likely by the build up of electrons within it. To be more specific it is known as an electrochemical reaction, the process discovered by Italian physicist Count Alessandro Volta in 1799 when he created a simple battery from metal plates and paper. Iteration upon iteration and the battery began to power everything around us, now it imitates a beating heart, maybe one day it powers our emotions too.
Imagine the pumps then, the hypertrophy, the gains from a heart made of steel.
In the meantime, Andrew Jones does not let his artificial heart hold him back.
Like a silent monster of an electric vehicle, one made by Porsche, or BMW, he is silent, he literally has no pulse. When he plugs in his phone at night, along with it he plugs in the batteries to his heart, they too need charging.
Imagine waking up and your heart is out of battery? No good. So he makes sure he always has a spare just in case.
Video: “I’m the best looking zombie you’ll ever see”
Recalling suffering from heart failure, Mr Jones said: ‘It’s something I would never want to wish upon my worst enemy.
‘You can’t breathe, you can’t think, you don’t eat and you don’t sleep. He continued: ‘Living with this disease put me in a pattern with depression and physical pain. ‘I had to stop working because I wouldn’t be able to stand for more than 10 minutes. ‘I dreaded going to the kitchen because that meant that I had to go up and down my stairs.
‘I couldn’t even get dressed without panting and gasping for air – my life was falling apart and I just wanted relief.’
As hard as the process has been for him he has realized that at least for now this is his reality and he will make the best of it. The lesson we take from Andrew Jones is that when life takes you down and breaks your heart, don’t just come back. Come back stronger.