Synopsis by Sarah Ing
Dr. O.H. Frazier first believed that by 1980, there would be 100,000 people with functioning artificial hearts. Now, that promise sounds like a chapter from an Orwellian novel. But, Frazier is still dedicated to the surgical alternative. The cardiologist has done more transplants than any other doctor and has high hopes for the future of technology. Nova: Electric Heart documents the fierce determination of researchers to extend human life. With only 2,000 hearts available for transplant each year, the development of a mechanical pump is vitally important. Haskell Karp was the first person to ever receive an artificial heart in 1969. Though he died days later, he became an example of the indomitable human spirit. Once again, several devices continue to be readied for testing. Nova looks at the faces behind the breakthroughs and the lives they will affect.