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General Health : Other News Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Girl lives 118 days without heart
By Sue Mueller
Nov 20, 2008 - 7:31:14 AM

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Vitami.n C lowers bloo.d pressur.e

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 months.


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 properly.


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 hospital.


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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