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~ ISHLT Members in the News ~


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Peter M Hopkins, FRACP
The Prince Charles Hospital
Brisbane, Queensland

Proud mum risked everything in the name of love and the dream of having this little bub

The Australian, 24 Dec, 2013

Kate Rootsey will celebrate Christmas tomorrow with a priceless gift—the "miracle baby" she risked her own life to have. The 33-year-old gave birth to daughter Molly 10 months ago, becoming the first Queensland woman with a double lung transplant to have a baby. When she broached the subject with Peter Hopkins, the Queensland Lung Transplant Service director, he was understanding, but also wary of the huge risks involved. "Kate started planting the seeds with me, saying: 'Is it possible? What would your advice be?' Associate Professor Hopkins recalled. "Our policy is we can't suppress our patients' desires to be parents. It is a very risky undertaking, but we understand the compulsion for parenthood and we try and support them through that." Read full article →


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Shaf Keshavjee, MD, FRCSC
Toronto General Hospital
Toronto, Ontario

Doctors weigh in on 2013's biggest medical breakthroughs

The Toronto Star, 27 Dec, 2013

A bionic eye. Scalpel-free brain surgery. And technology that enables donor lungs to continue breathing outside the body so they can be repaired before transplant. It is "an unprecedented increase in the number of transplants ever in the history of transplantation," says Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, the surgeon-in-chief at University Health Network and director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program. That's why his pick for breakthrough of the year is the Toronto Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion. (Ex vivo is Latin for "outside the living.") Read full article →

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Dave Nagpal, MD
London Health Sciences Centre
London, Ontario

Technology helping those waiting for heart transplant

CTV News, 19 Dec, 2013

Technology is revolutionizing organ transplant surgery and a southwestern Ontario woman is living proof. Suzana De Sousa was among the first patients at the London Health Sciences Centre to get a device to improve heart function while she waited for a donor heart to become available. "I love this machine. It saved my life." Cardiac surgeon Dr. Dave Nagpal explains, "It increased the amount of blood circulating that her heart wasn't strong enough to pump on it's own." Read full article →


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Dr Alla GK Gokhale
Yashoda Hospital

Life-saving heart transplant done

The Hindu, 24 Dec, 2013

Doctors at Yashoda Hospital performed a life-saving heart transplant on a 25-year-old woman after she developed a rare disorder associated with pregnancy. A cardiologist at Kakinada, who suggested heart transplant for Ramya, referred her to Dr. A.G.K. Gokhale, chief cardiothoracic, transplant and minimal access surgeon, at Yashoda Hospital. Speaking to the media here on Tuesday, Dr. Gokhale and Yashoda Group of Hospitals managing director Dr. G.S. Rao emphasised the need for creating greater awareness about the Jeevandan scheme and organ donation, as a number of lives could be saved. Read full article →


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Richard Kirk, FRCP, FRCPCH
Freeman Hospital, Pediatric Cardiac Unit
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Baby With Rare Heart Condition Spent Christmas at Home After it Miraculously Heals Itself

Lifenews .com, 26 Dec, 2013

An infant boy who has had to spend his whole life in a hospital because of a rare heart condition was able to go home to be with his family after what appears to be a medical miracle. Oscar was born with a heart defect and spent has spent his life in hospital. Doctors kept Oscar alive using an artificial heart as his parents faced an agonising 100-day wait with their son's name on the transplant list. Miraculously, Oscar's heart healed itself. Dr Richard Kirk, consultant paediatric cardiologist in charge of Oscar's care, believes time on the artificial heart gave Oscar's own heart time to rest and recover. He said: 'Someone up above must be smiling down on Oscar as his heart has begun to work on its own.' Read full article →


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Gonzalo V. Gonzalez-Stawinski, MD
Baylor University Medical Center
Dallas, Texas

North Texas Doctors Navigate Icy Conditions To Save Lives

CBS News, 10 Dec, 2013

Some doctors tried to pull off what seemed impossible this past weekend. They navigated on the ground and through the air on a mission to save two lives. While the ice storm kept most North Texans off the roads, Doctor Gonzo Gonzalez had no choice other than to drive through it as fast as he could. "We were actually flipping a coin on whether we were going to make it back," admitted the Baylor Medical Center heart surgeon. Doctor Gonzalez documented his treacherous trip on the ground and in the sky as he traveled to pick up and transplant a human heart not once, but twice over the weekend. He had a window of five hours. "It was pretty close," he said, admitting that he slipped and slid a lot while driving on the North Texas roads. Read full article →

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Asghar Khaghani, MD, FRCS
Spectrum Health
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Transplant surgeon becomes middle schoolers' able assistant as class dissects hearts

mlive.com, 14 Dec, 2013

The dissection was a bit tricky at first, as 12-year-old Abby Williams snipped along the right ventricle of the sheep's heart. But she had an able assistant—Dr. Asghar Khaghani, a world-renowned heart transplant surgeon. "Let me help you with that," he said, as he used a probe to hold the heart steady. In moments, Abby and her partner, Maddie Wilson, were examining a valve inside the heart. Khaghani smiled. "You're going to be a cardiac surgeon soon," he said. Read full article →

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Alan Gass, MD
Westchester Medical Center
Valhalla, New York

Orange County women thriving after getting new hearts

The Herald Record, 3 Dec, 2013

The pair of women is among the oldest to receive hearts at Westchester Medical Center. "The odds are in their favor, for sure," says Dr. Alan Gass, medical director of heart failure, heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support, pictured with, from left, Maureen Raffa, nurse practitioner; Corinne Gammino of Monroe, heart transplant patient; Kathy Brown, nurse practitioner; and heart transplant patient Kathleen Shafer of Newburgh. Read full article →

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Dan M. Meyer, MD
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, Texas

Advanced Procedure Keeps UTSW at Forefront of Cardiac Care

utswmedicine.org, December 2013

UT Southwestern Medical Center has long been a leader in the advancement of mechanical support devices for end-stage heart failure, participating in the REMATCH, Bridge-to-Transplant, and Destination Therapy trials that measured the effectiveness of the newest left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). Now, UTSW is further advancing the field as one of only a handful of medical centers in the nation—and the only one in North Texas—to implant biventricular assist devices (BiVADs) using an innovative surgical procedure. Nationally, ventricular assist device surgeries now exceed heart transplants, and approximately 90 percent of devices implanted are LVADs. But for a small population of patients—5 to 10 percent—heart ailments are not limited to the left ventricle; the right ventricle needs help as well. That's when BiVADs and UT Southwestern's surgical procedure come into play, according to Dan Meyer, MD, UTSW's Director of Mechanical Assist Devices. Read full article →

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Jay K. Bhama, MD
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Dunbar Township man undergoes a revolutionary heart procedure

Source, 30 Dec, 2014

Bill Shoenberger had always enjoyed fairly good health. An avid sportsman and outdoorsman, he had no trouble traversing the hilly terrain of his bucolic property, building his own home or handling the extensive walking necessary for bear hunting. Strolling through the grocery store with his wife was no challenge. However, in February 2006, his condition changed. He grew easily fatigued, and he labored to breathe, so much so that he needed a motorized cart just to negotiate the aisles at the store. So, in late October, Shoenberger began conversations with Jay Bhama, associate director of UPMC's artificial heart program and cardiothoracic transplant program, about undergoing surgery to implant a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD. Read full article →

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Gregory Perens, MD
UCLA Medical Center
Los Angeles, California

Family thrives after 3 heart transplants

The Columbian, 25 Dec, 2013

From left, Deanna Kremis and her sons, Trevin Kremis and Matthew Kremis, all have received heart transplants because of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic condition that causes the heart muscle to thicken until it can't pump properly. Kremis' mother and brother also have it, as did her grandmother. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy affects up to 600,000 people in the U.S. alone and is a leading cause of sudden death among young athletes, said Dr. Gregory Perens, one of the boys' pediatric cardiologists at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. "For most families, even having one child or one parent going through a transplant is a very big deal," Perens said. "So to have three is an extraordinary amount of work." Read full article →

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Edward R. Stephenson, MD
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Hershey, Pennsylvania

A new heart for the holidays: Northampton mom, 42, is grateful for healthy 27-year-old heart

The Morning Call, 22 Dec, 2013

Her children learned to call 911 before they learned to multiply. They have seen their mother faint at their basketball games. Yanira has survived heart attacks, strokes, open heart surgeries and more invasive medical procedures at the age of 42 than she cares to remember. In February 2012, when her heart function had diminished to 5 percent and other organs were beginning to fail, Dr. Edward Stephenson begged Yanira to consider more aggressive measures. The transplant team had recommended she undergo open-heart surgery to install an assistive device that would buy her some time until a heart became available. Yanira was hesitant. "You have to let me save your life," the heart transplant surgeon implored, persuading her to accept the procedure. Read full article →

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William Jeff Dreyer, MD
Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital
Houston, Texas

Texas Children's Hospital named first Accredited Pediatric Heart Failure Institute in Texas

Digital Journal, 18 Dec, 2013

Texas Children's Hospital is proud to be named the first Accredited Pediatric Heart Failure Institute in Texas by The Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium. The Colloquium made the announcement following nearly a year of work and an in-depth onsite review on Dec. 16. "As one of the largest programs in the nation, our experience in treating patients with heart failure is leading the way in positive outcomes," said Dr. Jeff Dreyer, medical director of Heart Failure, Cardiomyopathy and Cardiac Transplantation at Texas Children's Hospital and professor of pediatrics-cardiology at BCM. "As a member of this prestigious colloquium we look forward to collaborating with other leading experts across the nation to advance the treatment for the hundreds of children facing heart failure in the United States and across the globe." Read full article →

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Michael F. McGrath, MD
Mid-Atlantic CT Surgery
Norfolk, Virginia

Went to sleep on vacation, woke up without his heart

PilotOnline.com, 14 Dec, 2013

Jack Jones prepares for a hug from Nursing Care Partner Vaughan Riddick on his last full day as a patient at Sentara Heart Hospital on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, in Norfolk. Jones and his wife Mary went on vacation from their Tennessee home in July, and he had a massive heart attack on the first night in Williamsburg. Since then, he's had two artificial hearts and one heart transplant, and after 145 days, he went home Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. "He went to sleep on vacation, and he woke up without his heart," Mary said. It fell to Mary to tell him. "Would you repeat that?" Jack Jones, 60, remembers asking his wife. "Are you telling me I don't have a heart in my body?" Dr. Michael McGrath, surgical director for the advanced heart failure program at Sentara, said patients who stay that long become part of the hospital family. Read full article →

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