U.S. teen lives 118 days without heart
It is truly said God chooses doctor to show his miracle, and this is the perfect case of Divine intervention.118 days on alternative system and still healthy is nothing but miracle.
An American teen-ager survived for nearly four months without a heart, kept alive by a custom-built artificial blood-pumping device, until she was able to have a heart transplant, doctors in Miami said on Wednesday.
The doctors said they knew of another case in which an adult had been kept alive in Germany for nine months without a heart but said they believed this was the first time a child had survived in this manner for so long.
The patient, D'Zhana Simmons of South Carolina, said the experience of living for so long with a machine pumping her blood was "scary."
"You never knew when it would malfunction," she said, her voice barely above a whisper, at a news conference at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.
"It was like I was a fake person, like I didn't really exist. I was just here," she said of living without a heart.
Simmons, 14, suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the patient's heart becomes weakened and enlarged and does not pump blood efficiently.
She had a heart transplant on July 2 at Miami's Holtz Children's Hospital but the new heart failed to function properly and was quickly removed.
Two heart pumps made by Thoratec Corp of Pleasanton, California, were implanted to keep her blood flowing while she fought a host of ailments and recovered her strength. Doctors implanted another heart on October 29.
"She essentially lived for 118 days without a heart, with her circulation supported only by the two blood pumps," said Dr. Marco Ricci, the hospital's director of pediatric cardiac surgery. During that time, Simmons was mobile but remained hospitalized.