Child Awaiting Heart Transplant At Children’s Hospital For 13 Years.

A 6-month-old baby girl named Francesca has been in Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati since she was just seven days old. Doctors discovered that her heart was not functioning properly, leading to the need for a heart transplant. Francesca’s mother, Caitlin Gangi Rost, noticed that her daughter was not nursing as usual one week after her birth in October. After taking her to the doctor, Francesca was rushed to Children’s Hospital, where doctors determined that her heart was overworked due to a condition known as heart block.

Despite being born a healthy infant, Francesca tested positive for a common cold virus that had a devastating effect on her heart. She underwent open heart surgery and was subsequently placed on a ventricular assist device (VAD) called a Berlin Heart. The VAD helps pump blood to the heart when it is too sick to do so itself. Francesca is now waiting for a heart transplant, relying on a nonliving donor.

While waiting for a new heart, Francesca is thriving on the VAD, reaching developmental milestones and exhibiting a playful and talkative personality. Her mother eagerly anticipates the day they can bring her home after the transplant, expressing gratitude for the doctors at Children’s Hospital and the supportive community. The story of Francesca’s journey emphasizes the importance of organ donation and highlights the resilience and strength of both the baby and her family during this challenging time.

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