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Bay Area Girl Undergoes First-Ever Pediatric Heart Transplant At UCSF

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Peter Kouretas MD PhdCBS SF Bay Area (KPIX) reports on the first-ever pediatric heart transplant at UCSF. The surgical team was led by Peter Kouretas, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of surgery and surgical director of Pediatric Heart Transplantation at UCSF. 

The first-ever pediatric heart transplant at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital may have just saved a young Bay Area girl’s life.

It’s been tough for 11-year-old Andrea to keep up with other students during gym class in Walnut Creek.

“I would feel short of breath, I would need to take a break more often than other people would,” she says. 

Andrea has a rare form of cardiomyopathy, which is a genetic disease that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood. But thanks to a new team of doctors at UCSF, she has a new outlook and a new heart. 

“For Andrea’s family to trust us to be our very first heart transplant program here, we needed to be able to do this and say we can do this,” says Dr. Jeffrey Gossett Director of the Pediatric Heart Transplant Program.

On Monday, the hospital celebrated with Andrea’s family. They are moving to a transitional home nearby so doctors can monitor her for two weeks.

“It’s just the beginning of the road also, it was very, very stressful,” says her father, Calin. “But we’re very happy that the outcome has been this beautiful princess you see here who is feeling good.”

Because Andrea also has a heart rhythm problem that complicates her condition, doctors said she had a 30 percent chance of dying within one year. Now she has a 95 percent chance of survival.

“Activity level, functionally – they’ll get back to normal and lead a good functioning life,” said Dr. Pete Kouretas, Surgical Director of the program.

Read full story at CBS SF Bay Area (KPIX)


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