A patient at Papworth Hospital is thought to be the first to have been discharged after receiving an entirely artificial heart.

Matthew Green, 40, who was dying from heart failure is now at home with his wife and son awaiting an ordinary transplant, after being fitted with a temporary artificial heart by surgeons at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

Green said: "It's going to revolutionise my life. Before I couldn't walk anywhere. I could hardly climb a flight of stairs and now I've been up and I've been walking out and getting back to a normal life.

"I went out for a pub lunch over the weekend and that just felt fantastic, to be with normal people again."

The artificial heart is made of plastic and powered by a portable driver in a backback. Although, around 900 similar operations have been carried out around the world, this is the first time a patient was walking around the streets of Britain without a human heart, said Mr Steven Tsui, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon.

It is understood that other patients with mechanical hearts have been sent home before, but never with both ventricles replaced.

Without the artificial device, Green may not have survived the wait for a heart transplant.

Tsui said: "At any point in time there may be as many as 30 people waiting for a heart transplant on our waiting list at Papworth, with one third waiting over a year.

"Matthew's condition was deteriorating rapidly and we discussed with him the possibility of receiving this device, because without it, he may not have survived the wait until a suitable donor heart could be found for him."

Green thanked the surgeons for making "it possible for me to return home to my family".

"Two years ago I was cycling nine miles to work and nine miles back every day, but by the time I was admitted to hospital I was struggling to walk even a few yards," he said.

"I am really excited about going home and just being able to do the everyday things that I haven't been able to do for such a long time, such as playing in the garden with my son and cooking a meal for my family."