(Oklahoma City-AP) -- A Lawton youth counselor is Oklahoma City's first recipient of a battery-powered artificial heart pump.
The device is supposed to keep 44-year-old Nils Hodell alive until he can receive a heart transplant.
Integris Baptist Medical Center Doctors John Chaffin and Craig Elkins spent more than five hours January 14th to implant the device, called a left-ventricular assist device.
The procedure is the first of its kind in Oklahoma City. One was performed in Tulsa about a year ago.
Until recently, the nearest place for Oklahomans to get the artificial heart pump was Salt Lake City.
One part of the device was implanted in Hodell's abdomen and is connected to his heart. A computerized device strapped on one side of his body monitors and regulates the heart rate, and a two-battery fanny pack provides power for the pump.