STOCKHOLM — Leif Stenberg, a controversial Swedish businessman who was the first person outside the United States to receive a permanent artificial heart, died early today, doctors announced.
Stenberg, 53, had suffered at least one stroke since an American Jarvik-7 plastic and metal heart was implanted April 7 at Karolinska hospital in Stockholm.
He was the world's fourth recipient of a permanent artificial heart and lived 229 days with the device.
Before suffering a stroke in early September, he appeared to be making the fastest recovery of any of the recipients.
Stenberg was a controversial figure in Sweden. He had been identified in the press as an underworld figure in the '60s and '70s, although the only indictment against him was a 1978 charge of tax evasion.
Before his stroke, Stenberg had been spending only nights at the hospital, passing the days in a specially equipped apartment near the institution on the edge of Stockholm.