William J. Schroeder

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William J. Schroeder (1932, Jasper, Indiana – August 7, 1986), was one of the first recipients of an artificial heart at the age of 52. On November 25, 1984, Schroeder became the second human recipient of the Jarvik 7. The transplant was performed at Humana Heart Institute International in Louisville, Kentucky by Dr. William C. DeVries.[1]


After 18 days, he suffered the first of a series of strokes, eventually leaving him in a vegetative state. He died on August 7, 1986 of a lung infection, a year and 255 days (620 days) after receiving the Jarvik 7.[2] This was the longest that anyone had survived with an artificial heart at that time.[3]

The headstone marking Schroeder's grave is made of black granite in the shape of two overlapping hearts. One is laser engraved with an image of the Jarvik 7.[4]


Barnette, Martha (1987). The Bill Schroeder story. New York: Morrow. ISBN 0-688-06893-6.


  1. ^ Altman, Lawrence K. (August 7, 1986). "WILLIAM SCHROEDER DIES 620 DAYS AFTER RECEIVING ARTIFICIAL HEART". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  2. ^ Kleist, Trina (1986-08-16). "Schroeder's struggle lasts 620 days - artificial heart recipient William J. Schroeder". Science News. Science Service, Inc. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  3. ^ Altman, Lawrence K. (August 10, 1986). "A HERO OF MEDICINE; Schroeder, Longest User of Jarvik Device, Helped Prove Hearts Can Be Replaced". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-20.
  4. ^ Fox, Renée Claire; Judith P. Swazey (1992). Spare Parts: Organ Replacement in American Society. Oxford University Press. pp. 137–139. ISBN 978-0-19-507650-9.