One day in late September 2001, Robert Tools, the proud recipient of the world's first self-contained artificial heart, left the hospital for the first time since the organ was implanted (on July 2nd). While Dr. Laman Gray was pleased with his patient's progress, he was less amused to learn of his plans for the day. Among the first things Tools wanted to do? "He wanted to stop by the White Castle," Gray recalled, "for a cheeseburger!"
["He had one bite and got sick to his stomach," surgeon Robert Dowling recalled. Dowling's first thought? "Oh, Gosh, we're going to get sued." (Sadly Tools died on November 30 of internal bleeding and organ failure after living with the device for 151 days.)]