Edmonton MDs make B.C. girl youngest to get heart pump implant
Six-year-old lived with specialized artificial heart for 10 months before transplant
A British Columbia girl has been introduced as the youngest person in the world to get a special type of artificial heart.
Muskaan Grewal of Surrey was five-years old and weighed just 18 kilograms when Edmonton doctors inserted the ventricular-assist device in her chest last September.
The pump, the size of a golf ball, allowed Muskaan to live the normal life of a child and even go to school while she waited on a transplant list.
The revolutionary pump was designed for adults but has been used in a small number of pediatric cases around the world.
Doctors say the youngest patient previously was a six-year-old in Berlin, Germany.
Muskaan was born with a rare condition where the heart weakens, enlarges and fails to pump blood effectively leading to heart failure.
Over the years, as her health deteriorated, Muskaan was in and out of hospital and required numerous surgeries and medication.
"Before she got the (pump), Muskaan would get tired just from taking a few steps; she was so weak for such a long time," said her father Harmon Grewal. "We used to have to carry her from the car to the house. With the device she could run around and play as a normal child."
After 10 months with the heart pump, Muskaan developed an infection and returned to hospital.
Fortunately during her stay at the Stollery Children's Hospital, a heart became available and she received a heart transplant in July.
Muskaan’s doctors said she will be back in school to start Grade 2 in September.
With files from Canadian Press