AUSTIN (KXAN) — This month, Dell Children’s Medical Center performed its first Berlin Heart device implant on a 3-month-old baby.
The first Berlin Heart Ventricular Assist Device implant was given to Zaria Grace Jackson on Jan. 11, a release from the hospital said. The Berlin Heart takes over for the child’s own heart when it cannot pump enough blood to the lungs or throughout the body. It also helps children who are awaiting a heart transplant.
Jackson came to Dell Children’s on Jan. 8, showing signs of heart failure, the hospital said. She was taken into the pediatric cardiac care unit, where her heart health declined. Doctors decided the eight-hour Berlin Heart surgery was the best option for her. They don’t know why her heart started failing.
“I was in disbelief at first, but this is a life-saving device,” said Olivia Guthrie, Zaria’s mother, in a press release. “We are so grateful that we did not have to travel to Houston or Dallas for Zaria’s critical care.”
Two doctors who made the operation possible were Dr. Charles Fraser and Dr. Ziyad Binsalamah. Binsalamah became the new surgical director of Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support and arrived at the hospital just one day before the surgery, the hospital said.
Dell Children’s is currently the only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center in the region and doctors there performed their first heart transplant in October.