Wired PR News.com – In what has turned out to be a truly remarkable case, a 14 year-old from South Carolina went four months having no heart in her chest, and lives to tell about her ordeal. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), D’Zhana Simmons, who was released from the hospital on Wednesday after a second heart transplant in October, survived 118 days without an actual heart in her chest. Simmons, whose body rejected a heart transplanted months before, was implanted with artificial blood pumping devices that helped her survive until a second transplant could be performed.
The 14 year-old’s own heart had become enlarged to the point where it was too weak to pump enough blood, which warranted the need for a transplant. Regarding the case as a medical milestone, Dr. Peter Wearden of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh stated “For (more than) 100 days, there was no heart in this girl’s body? That is pretty amazing.” Artificial heart devices had yet to be approved for pediatric cases. Simmons case has opened the doors for more investments in research and technology for children with heart conditions.
Simmons, who will turn 15 on Saturday, will be able to attend school and for the most part function normally as a teenager; however, she will have to remain on anti-rejection medications and may possibly need another transplant later down the road.