Teen Lives Four Months Without a Heart!

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Heart mosaic

D'Zhana Simmons has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The South Carolina teen lived for four months without a heart. Yes, you read that right. Thanks to a life saving machine that pumped her blood, the fourteen-year-old is the first confirmed child in history to live for that long a period of time without a heart. Simmons suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy. The condition makes the heart swollen and too weak to pump properly. Simmons received a heart transplant, but due to complications the donor heart was removed. The teen was then put on a custom-built machine that pumped her blood for her, where she remained for 118 days with no heart until another heart became available.

D'Zhana was mobile but not allowed to leave the hospital. The entire process was indeed harrowing for the fourteen year old, who also suffered renal failure and received a kidney transplant during her time at the hospital. In her own words, Simmons said the experience was "scary" and was afraid that the machine would malfunction. Today doctors say the teen's prognosis is good. It continues to amaze me how we're able to save lives using science and technology. In another generation this would have seemed like science fiction, but today it is a reality. Truly amazing, don't you think?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.