Youngest 50cc Total Artificial Heart Recipient Ever Receives Donor Heart

PHOENIX, Ariz — July 15, 2018 — This past April, 10-year-old Gabriel Gonzalez became the youngest patient ever to receive the SynCardia 50cc temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH). Prior to receiving the 50cc TAH, Gabriel had been diagnosed with left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy, a condition which had enlarged the left side of his heart and caused it to fail.

To save his life, doctors at Phoenix Children’s Hospital decided to implant the 50cc TAH as a bridge to transplant, which enabled Gabriel to survive his heart failure and regain his strength while he waited for a matching donor heart.

On July 4, Gabriel and his family got the big news they’d been waiting for: a matching donor heart had become available. In a matter of hours, Gabriel was prepped for surgery and his TAH was replaced with his new donor heart. According to his doctors, the TAH didn’t just save Gabriel’s life — it allowed them to wait for an ideal match, which can make all the difference.

“It’s really an amazing match for Gabriel, which we’re excited for. I think he’s responded very nicely to it so far and he’s recovered just as we’d like him to,” explained Dr. Michelle Ploutz, Gabriel’s cardiologist.

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