A little girl who had been waiting 218 days for a heart transplant in a Chicago hospital for the past six months finally received her new heart last month.
Elodie Carmen Baker underwent a long-awaited heart transplant on March 27 at Lurie Children’s Hospital Heart Center, Good Morning America reports.
Unfortunately, in August 2021, when Elodie was only seven weeks old, she was diagnosed with a rare and complex heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy.
The only way for the medical staff to fix the situation was to get her a new heart, and Elodie had to wait over 200 days.
The girl’s mother, Kate Baker, told Good Morning America that “our pregnancy went well and we gave birth peacefully. We basically went home with Elodie.”
“So she was with us at her home in Minnesota for seven weeks and didn’t eat for one night. I was breastfeeding and she was crying and my heart was just fluttering and I said to (her husband) Colin, “Something’s wrong.”.
At first, doctors in the emergency room found nothing to indicate something was wrong, Baker recalls.
“I think they were considering maybe sending us home but they said, ‘Let’s just get an X-ray to be sure,’” Kate explained.
“Then the X-ray came back. They saw her heart was enlarged and that was on Aug. 21. And we haven’t been home since.”
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dilated cardiomyopathy causes children and adult sufferers to have an enlarged heart chamber, which has the potential to leave the muscle unable to pump the necessary blood through the body.
“In Elodie’s case, the genetic test did not reveal an answer for why she developed this kind of cardiomyopathy and in that situation, it’s called idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning at this point in time, we don’t really know why this happened to her,” Dr. Anna Joong, who has been caring for Elodie for the last few months, told Good Morning America.
According to mom Kate, Elodie’s heart muscle was really weak.
“It’s expanded over time,” she said. “It hasn’t been able to push the blood out, pump it out to the rest of the body and so it’s dilated, and now hers looks more like a pancake.”
Two months after her diagnosis, Elodie was flown to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Illinois. There, she underwent surgery to have a pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) placed, which essentially did the job of a heart for her, pumping blood around her body until the right transplant could be found.
“Her heart was so sick, that the IV medicines just weren’t enough and she needed a VAD,” Dr. Joong said.
“We use this device as a way to bridge her to transplant so it’s a way to support her heart, to help get her stronger in the time that she’s waiting for her donor heart.”
Fortunately, March 27, waiting for two years for a new heart, ELO has passed successful transplantation.
“It will continue to use (feeding) tubes after a transplant, but after it restores, slowly try to reduce food through the tube to encourage it to be able to satisfy the needs of Calico in the mouth,” Nora Hammond, a practitioner Nurse at Luria explained good morning America.
“The breathing tube was able to exit within a few hours after leaving the operating room. Her new heart works perfectly and really strong, “Dr. Jun continued.
“It receives conventional immunosuppression to prevent deviation. She was already transferred to the care of the ICU level and sits. She is one strong kid, and we are so grateful to the donor family. “
I’m just like this in the elder and her family – the way to go small, continue to fight!
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