Device Keeps Little Girl Awaiting Heart Transplant Alive

NBC MIAMI | By Amanda Plasencia

A six-year-old girl who appeared to have a simple cold was instead diagnosed with a heart condition and became to youngest patient in Florida to receive a special device while she awaits a heart transplant.

Jennifer Delisca never thought she'd be in the hospital for over two months.

"She was healthy, she had never been sick before," father Gean Delisca said.

"She seemed to have just a simple cold," said Eliot Rosenkrantz, professor of cardiac surgery at University of Miami Health System at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

But that common cold turned out to be something much worse.

"Barely 24 hours she actually had a cardiac arrest," Rosenkrantz said.

Doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital said Jennifer most likely has viral cardiomyopathy, which means a virus that affects the heart muscle. She was rushed to the operating table and now has become the youngest patient in Florida to receive a Heartware-branded ventricular assist device (HVAD), a temporary solution to help pump blood into the heart. Continue reading 

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