Heart Patient Gets Help, Needs Transplant - Cincinnati Children's Blog

Heart Patient Gets Help, Needs Transplant

Four months after she was rushed to Cincinnati Children’s for life-saving emergency heart surgery, Susie Arroyo feels better than she has in years.

In March, the 23-year-old from Pendleton, Ore., became the first woman with her form of muscular dystrophy to receive an implanted device to help pump blood to the rest of her body.

The Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s announced the breakthrough for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients last fall after a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) was implanted in a 29-year-old DMD patient.

Because a large percentage of DMD patients ultimately die of heart failure, the LVAD can add years or even decades to their lives.

Arroyo must wait six months to start planning for a heart transplant. But for now, she says she’s planning to attend college in the fall and is just thankful to be alive.

“It was like an answer to a prayer,” Arroyo said.

Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Cincinnati Children’s News Team

About the Author:

The members of the news team at Cincinnati Children's are responsible for telling the stories of the medical center. Stories of the families we serve, research and clinical care, safe and healthy practices and happenings at the hospital. If it has to do with Cincinnati Children's, Danielle, Nick, Jim, Kate, Rachel, Terry and Shannon will keep you informed.

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