ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WIVB) - A life-saving operation is the first of its kind in upstate New York - and the recipient just happens to be a former Buffalo Sabre.
Former Sabre and former Amerks Hall of Famer Gates Orlando is only 49, but he has a rare form of heart failure. Since last week, he's been living with an implanted artificial heart.
Dr. Todd Massey had done research on artificial hearts and waited for a surgery milestone like this. On April 4, he and a team of surgeons replaced Gates Orlando diseased heart with a totally artificial one in just over three hours. It's a first for Strong Hospital and upstate new York.
"The amazing thing about this technology is the flows are amazing," Dr. Massey noted.
Last year, Orlando was diagnosed with heart disease. Dr. Eugene Storozynsky says he is amazed by the transplant and says Orlando is doing well, sitting up in a chair and even walking.
The artificial heart can last for about three years. Orlando is on a heart donor list now. But surgeons say he has to be ready for a transplant. They want him to recover first.
Surgeons say this is only good for patients in severe cases with end-stage heart failure. But they say they have many of these artificial hearts available and they are ready to help others.
The artificial heart is called a bridge to a transplant. It will improve his quality of life while he waits for a transplant.
State Police need your help finding a missing woman last seen leaving M&T Bank on Main Street in Clarence this past Monday.
Police in Lockport say they have taken action after a threat was posted on a social media site from a student threatening to bring a gun to North Park School.
State Police are thanking News 4 viewers for helping them locate a man who allegedly hit a mother with his pickup truck as she loaded her two children into her vehicle and then fled the scene.
Lake Effect Snow Warnings today with the chance for an additional foot for some areas.
Nushawn Williams is still being held under the state's civil confinement law. He returned to court Thursday where a judge will soon rule on the type of restrictions Williams will face.
The robberies happened between August and early November. Prosecutors say all three used notes threatening the use of weapons.