Miami Doctors Keep Teen Girl Alive for 118 Days Without a Heart

University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center doctors announced today that 14-year-old D'Zhana Simmons survived nearly four months without a heart. The girl had a condition that caused her own heart to deteriorate. In July she underwent a heart transplant, but her body quickly rejected the organ. So doctors kept her alive using a custom-built artificial blood-pumping device until she could undergo another transplant. Previously, adults had been kept alive for as long as nine months without a heart, but this is believed to be the first case where the method was successfully used on a child.

--Kyle Munzenrieder


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