A new heart repair kit has been developed by an engineer suffering from a high risk heart condition which is now being used by doctors on other patients.
Tal Golesworthy had a defect in his aorta - the largest artery in the body that carries oxygenated blood - that could have split any moment, leading to his immediate death.
However, Golesworthy, 54, decided to take the matter into his own hands and came up with a knitted polyester sleeve, which could be wrapped around the aorta, giving it additional support.
And the device worked. Impressed by the repair kit's success Golesworthy has now set up a company named Exstent and markets the device with the help of his doctors.
Doctors at the Royal Brompton hospital, London, have since used the technique on 19 people; another three patients are looking forward for surgery this month.
Golesworthy said he was uncomfortable about the traditional surgery, after which he would have had to take anticoagulant drugs for the rest of his life to stop clot formation.
"I just thought the operation sounded awful...The doctors were being asked to do an engineering job when they weren't engineers. I decided there had to be a better way," Times Online quoted him as saying.
"To us it was obvious it was less risky and an altogether better operation...I am just very grateful I've had it done," said 16-year-old Ami Coxill-Moore, who received an Exstent.
Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation said: "We welcome it as a new development, but we have to be certain these things are safe in the long as well as the short term, before we can recommend them."