14 Year Old Survives Four Months Without Heart

14 year old D’Zhana Simmons is not your ordinary teenager. Last Spring she and her parents discovered that she had an enlarged heart that was not strong enough to pump blood. The only way that she would be able to survive is with a heart transplant. So she and her family traveled from their home in Clinton, South Carolina to Holtz Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida.

A cardiothoracic surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh – Dr. Peter Wearden – said that the decision to use the artificial pumps was “a big deal”. “For (more than) 100 days, there was no heart in this girl’s body? That is pretty amazing,” Wearden said.

D’Zhana said that for 118 days that she had no heart she felt like a “fake person”. “But I know that I really was here,” the 14-year-old said, “and I did live without a heart.” The young teen lived on the pumps for a total of four months in between two transplants.

November 20th, 2008 • tonks • Conditions and Diseases, Heart, News and Opinion Comments Off


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