Robert Tools, the recipient of the world's first fully self-contained artificial heart, died at a hospital in Louisville, Ken., after suffering a series of setbacks. TOOLS, 59, died of complications after severe abdominal bleeding. He began bleeding and his organs began failing later, said Drs. Laman Gray Jr. and Robert Dowling, who implanted the experimental device on July 2 at Jewish Hospital.
Tools, a retired telephone company worker, was suffering from congestive heart failure, diabetes and kidney disease when he received the artificial heart. At the time of the surgery, Tools was only expected to live one month. Doctors had said if he lived for 60 days with the new heart, it would be a major success. He far surpassed doctors' expectations by surviving for 151 days on the device. His progress has been followed by millions.