Andrew “AJ” Jones is redefining what it means to have no heart! The fitness model, who has an artificial heart, joins The Doctors to share his incredible journey.
Andrew, a longtime fitness advocate since college, was stricken with a virus that caused him cardiovascular issues and landed him in ICU for four months. Soon after he learned he would need a heart transplant and was placed on the transplant waiting list. While he waits for a organ transplant Andrew has been given a left ventricular assist device, which is a mechanical pump that transports blood from his heart to the rest of his body. He has been using the device for a year, and it can be used for potentially up to 7 years.
The high-tech device, housed in a backpack he always wears, is linked to a computer and is powered by two separate batteries. Andrew says that while his version of a heart is miraculous, it has also become a part of his normal everyday life. “I plug in my phone and then I’ll plug myself in,” he tells The Doctors. “It’s restored so much normalcy to my life.”
While in the hospital, Andrew created the nonprofit organization Hearts At Large to help the over 120,000 people awaiting a life-saving organ transplant. “I want to encourage as many people as possible to register as an organ donor and really understand what it means to be an organ donor… you can save up to 8 lives and enhance up to 50 more,” he explains.
For more information about the great work Hearts At Large is doing, visit their website. Plus, find out the surprise Men’s Health magazine has in store for Andrew in the video below. Plus, for more of the fitness model's amazing life, check out his Instagram!