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Texas Children's Hospital Discharges History-Making Teen Patient Again; This Time With a Transplanted Heart Replacing Mechanical Device
Date:2/12/2010

HOUSTON, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The wait is over for 16-year-old Francesco "Frank" De Santiago. On January 29, De Santiago received a donor heart in a successful nine-hour transplant operation at Texas Children's Heart Center. De Santiago made medical history last October for being the first child ever discharged from a pediatric hospital with an implanted mechanical heart pump, or intracorporeal ventricular assist device (VAD). Until then, pediatric patients with mechanical heart devices remained in the hospital, often in intensive care, while awaiting a donor heart.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100212/DA54586 )

"Frank's surgery went extremely well; he was a much better candidate for a heart transplant now than eight months ago when his heart was failing," said Dr. David L.D. Morales, pediatric cardiovascular surgeon at Texas Children's Heart Center who implanted Frank's device last May and performed his recent heart transplant. "The device improved his physical health and allowed him to be discharged so he could enjoy some normal teen activity during the wait for a donor heart. Texas Children's is leading the way in using five different types of VAD technology to help pediatric patients enhance their quality of life and outlook so they are better prepared for their transplant surgery."

De Santiago will continue to resi
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SOURCE Texas Children's Heart Center
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