A 14-year-old Freya Heddington, a young girl from Bristol, got diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy way back in 2019. It causes breathing problems, chest pain, and tiredness.
Fortunately, she currently became one of the world’s first kids to receive a non-beating heart transplant. The latter involves using a particular device that requires restarting the heart and keeping it healthy before the actual medical procedure.
After the operation, Freya claims that she can now do a lot more things than before. She can walk around, go out with friends, and go up the stairs. She can even go horse-riding without feeling faint or sick or the need to take a breather.
The hearts were from brain-dead individuals. Thus, it restricts the possibility of having more successful heart transplants.
However, surgeons from Cambridgeshire’s Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust managed to make the non-beating hearts beat again. Hence, it led to successful heart transplants among children.
Physicians used a particular machine known as the Organ Care System to revive the hearts back to life after removing them from the already brain-dead donors. The procedure was previously performed in adults and has currently saved six British kids aged 12 to 16.
Typically, children will need to wait almost three times longer than grownups for a heart donor. It is genuinely a delay for most of the young patients. Thus, this non-beating heart transplant is such a great help for many.
The said breakthrough might lead to a significant increase in the available hearts for a donation that will save many lives, intensify heart transplants’ survival rates, speed recoveries, and decrease postoperative complications.
The medical executive for transplantation and organ donation at the NHS or National Health Service Blood and Transplant, Dr John Forsythe, emphasized that this new medical procedure may save numerous lives worldwide. It not only gives hope to patients all around the globe