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News » Heart transplant has a good prognosis despite difficult journey

Heart transplant has a good prognosis despite difficult journey

A boy in his early teens was diagnosed with a fatal disease of the heart muscle but the condition then inexplicably went into remission. The condition reappeared when he was 17 which symptoms such as migraines, chest pains, difficulty breathing at night, stiff jaw and arm pains. Over the next three days he was misdiagnosed three times - he was told he had a cold, hernia and then anxiety attacks. Eventually they realized that his heart disorder had returned. When his heart started to race uncontrollably, he rushed to the hospital where he lost consciousness after his heart stopped. He became very ill and lost a lot of weight. 6 weeks later, he received heart transplant. Heart transplants were still relatively primitive then and immune-suppressant drugs were just starting to be used. Doctors unknowingly gave him 4 times the required dose. As a result, 7 years later the anti-rejection drugs had worn away tissue and caused polyps to form. He experienced pain and bleeding from his stomach and surgery was required to remove some of his small intestine. A year later kidney failure meant he required a kidney transplant. Now at the age of 42 he is a modern miracle and the 7th longest survivor of a heart transplant and he is able to work and lead a normal life. He has had the new heart for 24 years.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Napa News

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About: Heart transplant has a good prognosis despite difficult journey

Date: 27 December 2004

Source: Napa News

Author: Jesse Wanamaker


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