Hannah Clark – Girl With 2 Hearts

Hannah Clark – Girl With 2 Hearts

Parenting Help Parenting Help Tips   photo credit: mikefats

Parenting Help Parenting Help Tips   Parenting Help Parenting Help Tips
This is the story of a girl who made a miraculous recovery from a terminal heart condition and it is welcome news indeed.  Hannah Clark, a teenager from Wales, has been fondly referred to in British media as “Two-Hearts” girl.

Since age two, Hannah has had a cardiomyopathy, an ailment that endangers the heart as it doubles in size and eventually gives out. The bold solution that her doctors came up with was what saved her—a donor heart was grafted alongside her own to give it time to heal and repair itself.  This piggy-back heart took on the role of pumping and distributing blood throughout her system while giving her original heart a rest.

Sir Magdi Yacoub, the doctor who performed the surgery, was surprised but certainly delighted with the recovery of his young
patient.

The procedure was not without peril, though.  Hannah had to take immunosuppressant drugs to enable her to function well and not reject the foreign organ.  These drugs have taken their toll over the years and caused Hannah to develop cancer which required chemotherapy.  In order for the chemotherapy to take effect, doctors had to reduce the immunosuppressant, but then they were faced with having the donor heart rejected.

It’s a classic catch-22 scenario which left the doctors no choice but to pull the plug on the donor heart.  Luckily, at the time this was decided, Hannah’s own heart was found to be healthy enough to function on its own.

The radical approach and procedure done on Hannah’s condition was recently revealed for the first time in the online medical journal Lancet.  Doctors weigh in on the amazing turn-out, stating that not everyone has space in their chest cavity to accommodate two hearts.

Other physicians commented that it’s a wonder that the sick heart, being a muscle that was left unused, did not succumb to atrophy.  And then there is a hopeful majority in the medical community who see this as a new avenue for research on the regenerative powers of the heart.

According to Dr. Douglas Zipes, former president of the American College of Cardiology, heart patients could benefit from Hannah’s case if more studies are done on the mechanisms that led to her eventual recovery.  Currently, a major difficulty faced by patients in need of heart transplant is the scarcity of donors.

Artificial hearts and heart pumps have been developed in recent years as an intermediate solution to this problem.

Above it all, no one is more grateful than Hannah and her family.  For Hannah, this means no more treatments, no more hospital stays, and she considers herself to be finally “free.”  Paul Clark, Hannah’s dad, agrees that if they did not take the risk at the onset, Hannah would not be around today.

Now at the age of 16, Hannah goes to school, does sports, and even holds a job.  She is happy to be able to live a normal life just like her friends, and one day wishes that she could find a job that would let her work with children.

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I’ll look forward to your comments about this miraculous story.

Author: Billy the kid

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