Teenager Lives 118 days without a Heart

by Paul Martin -

An American teenager survived nearly four months while without a heart.  She was waiting for a heart transplant that finally came after the 118 day struggle.  She was kept alive by a custom-built artificial blood-pumping device.

The patient, D’Zhana Simmons of South Carolina, said the experience of living for so long with a machine pumping her blood was “scary.”

“You never knew when it would malfunction,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper, at a news conference at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.

“It was like I was a fake person, like I didn’t really exist. I was just here,” she said of living without a heart.

Simmons, 14, suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the patient’s heart becomes weakened and enlarged and does not pump blood efficiently.

You can read the rest of this amazing story on Reuters.

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