January 20th, 2017
11-year-old Jaheim Whigham has become the youngest ever recipient of an artificial heart. In a life-saving operation, doctors at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago implanted an artificial heart.
Jaheim, who lives in Illinois, was born with a congenital heart defect. At the age of seven, he underwent a heart transplant. However, after a few years, his body began to reject it. As of four months ago, Jaheim’s condition was serious.
To buy him more time, doctors managed to transfer an artificial heart into his body. After a gruelling and delicate 15-hour surgery, cardiologists managed to successfully complete the implant.
Jaheim was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. This a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. As the baby develops during pregnancy, the left side of the heart does not form correctly.
Jaheim is the youngest and smallest recipient ever, and one of only 40 worldwide. So far, according to doctors, So far, recovery has been going well. Dr. Backer told Daily Mail that Jaheim’s organs are recovering, he is now breathing well, and walking around the ICU.
Jaheim is now waiting for a heart transplant. The process of finding a suitable donor could take as much as six to ten months. Doctors hope that this process will be over as soon as possible.