Robert Tools of Franklin received the world's first fully self-contained artificial heart July 2, 2001. Doctors performed the transplant in Jewish Hospital in Louisville.
Tools was a diabetic experiencing significant organ failure, a prime candidate for the Abiocor artificial heart. He survived 151 days, but suffered a stroke in November, and just days later, abdominal bleeding and swelling in the brain.
The former telephone company worker and teacher died Nov. 29, 2001. He lived five months with his plastic and titanium heart.