A miracle! An
American girl without a heart was kept alive for about four months by a
custom-built artificial blood-pumping device until she was able to find a
donated heart and received the transplant, doctors said Wednesday.
This is the first pediatric patient who ever survived
without a heart for so long.
It was only
reported that one adult without a heart in Germany had been kept alive for nine
D'Zhana Simmons of South Carolina received the treatment
at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center. She suffered
dilated cardiomyopathy in addition to suffering renal failure and having
received a kidney transplant.
Simmons already had a heart transplant on July 2 at
Miami's Holtz Children's Hospital, but doctors had to remove it leaving the
young patient without a human heart because the transplant did not work
To keep her alive and wait for a donated heart, doctors
implanted two heart pumps made by Thoratec Corp of Pleasanton, California until
they could implant a new heart on October 29.
Simons said the experience was scary.
"You never knew when it would
malfunction," she was cited as saying at a news conference at the
Dr. Marco Ricci, the hospital's director of pediatric
cardiac surgery said the prognosis is good for the girl. But doctors said
changes are 50% that Simmons may need a second heart in 12 or 13 years.
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