By the age of 16, Lexi had experienced more health issues than most people do in a lifetime. She received her first heart transplant in 2007 when she was only 10 years old. Six years later, in May 2013, Lexi was admitted to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital with severe cardiac allograft vasculopathy, an accelerated form of coronary artery disease that is a long-term complication of heart transplantation.
Lexi’s doctors put her on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) to support her failing heart and lungs, but her condition worsened and she began experiencing multi-organ dysfunction.
On June 3, 2013, doctors made the decision to implant the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH) to save Lexi’s life and help bridge her to a second transplant. The SynCardia TAH, which provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute, helped stabilize Lexi’s condition and restored the function of her vital organs.