Local baby is pioneer for heart assist device

WKRC | Liz Bonis

 A local couple is celebrating their baby's first Valentine's Day and birthday Thursday with a very special wish: that his life will continue to inspire hope. (WKRC)
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A local couple is celebrating their baby's first Valentine's Day and birthday Thursday with a very special wish: that his life will continue to inspire hope.

His parents and the team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital say a year ago they didn't know if he would make it to his first birthday. Baby James was picture-perfect at birth, except inside his tiny heart. One of his coronary arteries was missing.

Almost immediately, doctors at Children's knew he needed a heart transplant, but while he was waiting, he was getting sicker and had to be put on a ventricular assist device.

A ventricular assist device, or a VAD, takes over the function of the heart. It is also the thing that makes James a medical pioneer.

"To our knowledge, we're pretty sure that no one at his size has ever been put on a VAD and then make it all the way to transplant and then make it home," said Dr. David Morales, a pediatric heart surgeon at Children's. Continue reading

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