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The Mysterious Human Heart The Mysterious Human Heart border=
A Series by David Grubin
Episode 1
Endlessly Beating
The Replacement Heart
Episode 2
The Spark of Life
Anatomy of a Pacemaker
Episode 3
The Silent Killer
Myths & Misconceptions
Tour of the Heart
Healthy Heart Guide
History of Cardiplogy
Patient Updates
Outreach Toolkit

Episode 1: Endlessly Beating
The normal heart is a muscle about the size of a fist. With every beat it drives three ounces of blood through its intricate chambers and around five quarts throughout the entire body. Though we know much about how it operates, the heart is, nonetheless, a miraculous organ that has baffled the generations of scientists who have tried to mechanically replicate its power and efficiency.

Endlessly Beating examines the heart as a muscle - pumping almost 100,000 times a day, pushing approximately five quarts of blood in an endless course to deliver oxygen to every cell of the human body. This hour tells the story of the normal heart through the histories of three people with end-stage heart failure, where a pump may be a temporary remedy, but in the long term, a transplant is almost always necessary.

The three patients profiled live on the edge of life, existing in a compromised state that will inevitably need drastic intervention. Of the three individuals this hour follows, one will eventually receive the life-saving gift of a transplant; another must depend on an experimental new device to stay alive until a new heart can be found; and the third recovers with the aid of a heart pump, which lets his once-failed heart return to normal.

Episode Credits

History of Cardiology
From the discovery of circulation to the growth of new heart tissue using stem cells, trace the advancements in cardiac medicine since the 1600s on the interactive cardiology timeline.
Heart Transplant
After months on the waiting list, a donor has been found, and the day of the surgery has finally arrived. Timing is critical. Find out what happens in the operating room.
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Funding is provided by Medtronic, AstraZeneca, and Mars, Incorporated - makers of CocoaVia. Additional funding is provided by the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation. A co-production of David Grubin Productions, Thirteen/WNET New York and WETA Washington, D.C.
Medtronic AsrtaZeneca MARS Thirteen/WNET NEW YORK