Teen trades machine for real heart!

NOTE: New posts may be light this week, as I am off to Atlanta to see my Adult Congenital Cardiologist. Don’t worry – this is strictly routine; the appointment was made months ago. I’m not expecting any nasty surprises.

Adventures of a Funky Heart! took note of Francesco “Frank” De Santiago back in November: If you remember, he was the young man who received a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) at Texas Children’s Hospital. What was so unusual about Frank was that he was the first Pediatric patient to be able to leave the hospital after receiving the LVAD.

Frank had to return to Texas Children’s last month…after they called him and told him that a heart was available! And on January 29, the LVAD was shut down, Frank’s old heart was removed, and another one took its place.

It was a little more complicated than that, I am sure!

The unusual part of the story was not that the LVAD worked, but that it worked so well that Frank’s general health actually improved while on the unit! According to his doctors, this made the surgery easier and should ease Frank’s recovery.


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