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Mother of Four with Congenital Heart Defect & Biventricular Heart Failure Bridged to Transplant with the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart
Date:7/18/2013

TUCSON, Ariz., July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Stacie Sumandig is no stranger to heart problems. Born with a congenital heart defect called coarctation of the aorta, a narrowing of the major artery that carries blood away from the heart to the body, she had her first heart surgery at age 4, and an aortic valve replacement at age 31. But last October, when a virus attacked her aortic valve and destroyed her heart, the news she received at two different hospitals was grim: she probably wouldn't make it through the weekend.

"You can't even process that," said Sumandig. "I'm 40, and I have two kids and two stepkids, and I thought, that is not an option."

Sumandig was transferred to the University of Washington (UW) Medical Center in Seattle, where doctors offered her one final option that hadn't been available at the two previous hospitals: the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart.

"Stacie presented a very difficult problem for us from both a medical and surgical standpoint," said her surgeon, Dr. Nahush Mokadam, co-director of heart transplantation and director of mechanical circulatory support at UW Medical Center. "She had suffered a large heart attack in her right ventricle and had ongoing heart failure in both the left and right sides of her heart (right greater than left). In addition, she had undergone a complex aortic valve reconstruction years prior, but her aorta had separated from her heart by several centimeters, which likely led to a kink in her right coronary artery, causing her massive heart attack.

"I did not think a repeat reconstruction would be tolerated due to her failing heart, so I counseled her on the Tot
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SOURCE SynCardia Systems, Inc.
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