Nov 12, 2008

Some interesting Facts

Speaking with the doctors at the hospital and surfing the net we have come across a lot of interesting information on heart transplantation. Here are some things we have found out:

1964 - First transplant: A chimpanzee heart beat in a human body for 70 minutes.
1967 - The first human to human transplant, the man died from pneumonia 18 days later.
1984 - First successful heart transplant in a toddler: Two year old Elizabeth Craze became the youngest surviving heart transplant patient. (That is only 24 yrs of history and data!)
1995 - the first successful INFANT transplant happened at Loma Linda University. Eddie was just 4 days old.
In February of 1986 the second infant survived transplant there at the age of 10 days. It's an amazing story. There's a great article about them
1995 - The first year they were performing heart transplants for small children at Seattle Childrens. (That is only 13 yrs ago!)
As of the end of 2007, Tony Huesman is the world's longest living heart transplant patient, having survived for 29 yrs with a transplanted heart.
22 years after transplant, Dwight Kroening is the first heart recipient to finish an ironman competition. (We won't be encouraging Mia to do the ironman, but still you have to admit that is cool.)
There was actually a period of time in the 70's when research in the field slowed due to continued rejection. The improved life expectancy of patients after heart transplant is largely due to immunosuppressive drugs, which reduce the body's tendency to reject the new organ. This will be our main concern with Mia. We will need to watch her closely, as rejection can oft times be reversed. It is also not unheard of for a person to have a second heart transplant if failure occurs in a heart patient.
the first successful INFANT transplant was in 1985 at Loma Linda University. Eddie was just 4 days old. In February of 1986 the second infant survived transplant there at the age of 10 days. It's an amazing story. There's a great article about them

There were 2,192 heart transplants performed in the US in 2006, and 2,125 in 2005.
Each year, thousands more adults would benefit from a heart transplant if more donated hearts were available.
In the US, 74% of heart transplant patients are male (whoa.); 68% are white; 20%are ages 35-49 and 55% are ages 50-64.
Survival Rate: As of June 2007, the one-year survival rate was 85% for females; the three year survival rate was about 76%, and the five-year survival rate was 67%. Our docs have said that these have already improved. That is what is so encouraging about these numbers. They are old numbers. There is not enough history to go on for say a 25 yr expectancy, because 25 yrs ago, they didn't have near the knowledge they do today. The data that is being used to determine the 5 yr expectancy is 5 yrs old. There is new data today, and this Field is continually learning.
Currently over 95,000 men, women and children await life-saving organ transplant (heart, lung, pancreas, kidneys, liver and intestines).
Every organ and tissue donor can save and enhance the lives of up to 50 people.
Green is the official organ donation awareness color- Go green.

The actual transplant - what I thought was fascinating:
1. Is the entire heart transplanted? No. When I thought of a heart transplant, I thought of the docs putting in a heart, and connecting the tubular arteries, not unlike installing a new radiator. In fact, this is not so in the text book transplant. The back walls of the left and right atria will stay in the recipients body. You could say that it isn't an entire (intact) heart that is received. So, the surgeon actually cuts away the front part of the heart, leaving the back. Pretty wild.
2. How do they stop the heart? By injecting a chemical solution into the heart.
3. How do they fuse the breastbone? With steel wire. (Mimi has had staples for her surgeries though.)
4. How do they start the newly implanted heart? I pictured two wires touching the heart and giving it a shock. Not so. Warm blood begins to flow through the heart (by aid of the heart lung machine) and the warmth of the blood should "wake up" the heart and stimulate it to start beating. If this does not occur, it may be necessary to start the heart using an electric shock (defibrillation). Once the blood is flowing through the new heart normally and without any leaks, the heart-lung machine is disconnected and the chest incision is closed
5. Do they always close the chest after heart transplant. No. It is actually uncommon to close the chest in an infant, due to swelling and the need to leave room for expansion. In an adult they do close the chest. Mia had extra room in her chest cavity due to the large nature of her native heart, and therefor avoided a followup surgery by having her chest wired shut after transplantation.

Doesn't that blow your mind!?

I thank God for revealing his wisdom to mankind. Truly those that worked on Mia provided a miracle. Just wait until you see her chest thumping with that new heart inside.


Baseballs and Tutu's said...

I am shocked reading these statistics! It is just amazing what these doctors have done. I pray for Mia's continued recovery and for many many years ahead!

Amanda-The Family News! said...

WOW! Those are pretty neat facts. It's something to think about 1995 being the first year to perform heart transplants for small children..i guess you just tend to think it's been happening forever.

The Scotts said...

Great Stats! My Uncle Had a heart transplant almost 15 years ago. It was crazy way back then. Where we lived he was one of the first to receive a heart.
We are praying for baby Mia and know that God will totally heal and recover her from this.

Brenda said...

That really is amazing that something like this can be done. We're lucky to be living in the time period.

Crystal said...

That is shocking. It's crazy how far medical treatment has come in the last 15 years. It boggles me to think what they could do in another 15 years!

Jane Anne said...

It absolutely blows my mind! Thanks for sharing all of that- its fascinating. I am so thankful for doctors and medical wisdom. Still praying-

Lauri said...

Just wanted to let you know that I have always been a donor on my licence but I did go to the official webiste and sign up to be an organ donor in honor of your ordeal. I certainly won't need them when I'm gone! Thanks for shairing the stats. I can't wait to get up there and see her.

Allie said...

That blows my mind! It's truly amazing what they can do and continue to do! And beautiful Mia is a part of it all! Awesome!

Deana said...

Amazing, just absolutely amazing!! I liked how you put that. Thanks to our Father in Heaven for letting us in on some of his inventions. Wow!!!!!

Keep the faith!!!

Rebecca said...

That is really interesting. Mia will be part of the reassuring statistics in 75 years!

Jim Hutchings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Hutchings said...

Wow truly amazing stuff. I had no idea that the longest living transplant patient is only 29 years.... I'll hope little Mia destroys Tony's record

Riley Family said...

Wow! That is very interesting!!!! Thanks so much for sharing. What kind of surgeries has Mimi had???

LiNdS said...

MIMI, John, and MIA:

I wanted to thank you guys for allowing my wife Lindsey and I to be a part of your wonderful miracle. You have forever changed our lives and the way we look at things of importance. Thank you for all of the descriptive details and emotions that you have shared. You have a beautiful family and baby girl. We will continue to pray for you all, and look forward to your future of enjoyment with MIA.


Analisa-creator of hairblingzcutethings said...

very amazing! it's wonderful how far technology and science have come! and how incredible that Mia can be a part of those statistics!

The Eggett Family said...

Such Interesting Facts!! Isn't it so amazing how far they have come. I think those facts are very reassuring, when you think of how recent all of this has even become possible. Mia is sure to set new records, she's proved she is no quitter. I am so thankful for God's gift of all the medical technology we have. Absolutley Amazing!! Thanks for sharing.

Erin said...

Wow! That is CRAZY! What amazing medical technology we have these days! I can't even believe the possibilities the future will bring. Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer said...

That is amazing. It's crazy how you never really think about all the knowledge that is available out there until it is something you need. Then you start to realize more and more how infinite God's wisdom is and how blessed we are to live in this time. You guys are amazing!

Jen Faultner said...

Thought you guys would be interested to know that the first successful INFANT transplant was in 1985 at Loma Linda University. Eddie was just 4 days old. In February of 1986 the second infant survived transplant there at the age of 10 days. It's an amazing story. There's a great article about them

Anonymous said...

do you get a whole heart if you get the heart transplant?

Mimi said...

Yes, a whole heart. Every transplant is different and they decide how much existing tissue to keep to attach to the donor heart depending on what they see when they go in. Mia still has some of the stent they placed in her native heart. I thought it would all be gone, but some of it is still there.