Meet Johan: The first South African man with a mechanical heart

Meet Johan: The first South African man with a mechanical heart

His daughter was only six months old when doctors told him he had heart failure...

Johan van Wyk mechanical heart guy
Source: Supplied

A man from eMalahleni now has a mechanical heart. 

Johan van Wyk joined Breakfast with Martin Bester on Tuesday morning to express his gratitude at having this procedure.

Johan says: "The first few weeks were tough after the operation but after a while it got better. I had to adjust my life because I cannot swim, for example.” 

READ: South Africans shocked at ‘automatic pap cooker’ on the market

Johan heard he had heart failure when he was 29 years old. He’s the first person in South Africa to have a mechanical heart - The Abbott HeartMate3.  

Two heart surgeons, Dr Willie Koen and Dr Loven Moodley, worked together to transplant the mechanical heart into Johan. Dr Koen says: "It was a long process, and it was a first for South Africa. We just don’t have enough organs to save the next person and as a result they did artificial heart studies about 50 years ago.” 

READ: Pretoria murder mystery: More details revealed

What exactly is a mechanical heart? Listen to Dr Koen’s answer below and tune in to the 'Breakfast with Martin Bester', weekdays from 06:00 - 09:00. Stream the show live here or download our mobile app here.

Image credit: Supplied

Show's Stories