Tell Me a Story: Berlin Heart Device Bridges the Way to Boy's Heart Transplant
"I am April Daniel. I'm Ethan's mom." "He had a puffy eye, and pediatrician thought it was allergies." "We had an appointment for the cardiologists and the allergist," "and we get to the cardiologists first and within a five-minute span she told us" "the word transplant. So it was like a" "wam bam kind of thing. And then she gave us options and" "this is what we chose." "Hi I'm David Morales." I'm one of the cardiothoracic surgeons, and I was one of Ethan's surgeons." "His heart actually could push the blood very well but it couldn't relax," "so it couldn't allow blood to get in, which is one of the reasons that he might have" "gotten puffy." "And it became pretty clear to us that we were not going to be able to do much" "for him except to transplant him.
The availability of hearts" "it's not great, and because of that in years past say" "7 -8 years ago, there were many children who used to pass away waiting for a heart." "Fortunately in about 2005-2006," "we started using things that adults have been using in terms of heart failure" "for many years. We start using the ventricular assist devices," "or better known as VADs. And for a pediatric" "VAD really the only one available is a thing called the Berlin Heart EXCOR." "And so we started considering whether we could put this" "device in to help Ethan and his heart," "and allow him to, what we say, bridge to transplant," "meaning that this it will help him get to transplant." "It was life or death. It was scary." "But at the same time I kind of pulled the mom card with one of the doctors here and" "asked her if she would" "do it if it was one of her kids.
And she said yeah." "He did actually very well from the device. We are able to get the breathing" "tube out in a couple days," "he looked much better, he has had more strength, and he" "was doing well. We were very fortunate to get a heart. He did an excellent job," "and now had the transplant and he's recovering from that." "And he continues to do really well and he's gonna probably go to the floor" "tomorrow," "and then hopefully out of the hospital in a few days." "And then after that obviously, you know, a transplant is" "not a cure, but it's a much better quality of life." "It's a scary thing to think of your child being sick," "and it's a scary thing to think of a heart beating outside of the chest," "but we're proof that it helps, and it made him" .so much stronger just in like less than two weeks that he had it." "To make him stronger for heart and now he's" "ready to rock and roll out of the hospital.".
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