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Friday, October 22, 2004

Two Hearts are Better Than One

STANFORD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 21, 2004--Camila Gonzalez now has two hearts beating separate rhythms inside her tiny chest. At 22 months of age, she became the youngest child in the United States to receive a donor's heart while also retaining her original one. Bruce Reitz, MD, professor and chair of cardiothoracic surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine, connected a second heart to Camila's on Sept. 16 at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. The procedure - called a heterotopic or "piggyback" heart transplant - was first developed in England 30 years ago to address a specific kind of heart problem. But Camila is the first child to undergo such a procedure in California and only the ninth child to receive a second heart in the United States. In adults the procedure is rare as well. Out of the 1,200 adult heart transplants performed at Stanford Hospital, only one other involved the piggyback procedure. Read the whole article here.

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