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Frank de Santiago of Texas is making medical history.

On November 12, 2009, an interesting article appeared on FoxNews about a breakthrough for the use of the LVAD in children.

In May 2009, 16-year-old Frank De Santiago from Texas was hospitalized with a stroke. His doctors soon discovered that he had dilated cardiomyopathy and that his heart had more than doubled in size.

The condition of his heart was so bad that the blood could hardly be pumped around anymore and he was transferred to the hospital Texas Children's Heart Center. Within 24 hours he was on the operating table and was called an LVAD Rota Flow  implanted. He did not recover from this and the Rota Flow was replaced by a Heartmate II of Thoratec.

Texas Children's Hospital was the first children's hospital in the world to implant a Heartmate II in a child and thus made history.

dr. David Morales, the pediatric cardiac surgeon who implanted the LVAD, was so pleased with Frank's condition that he began preparations in late September to let the boy go home.

This had never happened before and since it was important that Frank was not more than 1 hour away from the hospital due to a call for a transplant, it took some adjustments from the De Santiago family, but the confidence in both Frank and his mother was big enough to take this step.

“Frank is a perfect example of how these things can work,” Morales says. “Thanks to this assistive heart, he is stronger and a much better candidate for a heart transplant than he was 5 months ago. This is a major step forward in the treatment of children with heart failure. If this technology continues to develop, we hope that in the future it will be possible to help children from 10 to 12 years old with LVAD. A very big advantage here is that in some cases no transplant is necessary, because the heart is given the opportunity to heal itself!”

Frank was very happy to be able to go outside again “I was so happy and excited to go outside again! Just the idea that I could no longer just look at the rain outside, but that I could start to feel it again, gave me a great thrill!”