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Reverse Heart Transplant Surgery On A Little Girl Makes History

A 12-year-old schoolgirl Hannah Clark from Mountain Ash in South Wales has undergone an astonishing 'reverse' heart. // The youngster had her first heart transplant ten years ago, carried out by transplant pioneer Sir Magdi Yacoub. The girl then enjoyed good health with the donor heart that Sir Magdi had transplanted 10 years ago in a lifesaving operation.

Sir Magdi as an unusual case decided to leave Hannah's original heart in place still functioning in the hope that it would recover, and he 'piggybacked' the donor heart next to it. Explaining that a transplant patient’s original heart was not normally left inside the body, but he and his team had thought ahead in Clark’s case. He stated that at that time they thought that she had this very severe muscle disease and there was the outside possibility that her heart would recover.

In November a cardiologist found that her body was rejecting the organ. It was found that Clark had been suffering from cardiomyopathy, which made her heart double in size and threaten to fail within a year. Clark’s mother Elizabeth said surgeons at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London were initially reluctant to remove the donor heart and reconnect the dormant one it had never been done before. They later then agreed to undertake the procedure with the help of Sir Magdi.

Sir Magdi Yacoub advised the surgeons who carried out the four-hour operation on Hannah Clark, which was the first of its kind in Britain this February. The doctor, who came out of retirement at the request of the girl’s parents, spoke to the BBC about how he helped remove a 12-year-old girl’s donor heart, which she had started to reject, and restart her own, dormant heart in a pioneering operation in London. He told them that her own heart has recovered, that their initial idea had worked out and that it was such absolutely wonderful news. He told them that now she is a happy little girl with her own normal heart, with all complicatio
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