Medical Miracles

Mechanical heart device saves a ten-year-old boy

Ten-year-old Philasande Dladla from KwaZulu-Natal has become the first child on the African continent to undergo a lifesaving operation, receiving a Heartware Valve Assist Device (HVAD).

Cardiac and transplant surgeon practicing at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, Dr Willie Koen, successfully led the surgical team that implanted a ‘mechanical heart’ to enable his damaged heart to continue functioning.

Philasande’s journey has been a most remarkable one and we are delighted that he has recovered so well that he is being discharged from hospital with renewed vigour and a smile on his face. Where Philasande’s future was uncertain before, he has now been given a completely new lease on life.

Dr Willie Koen, cardiac and transplant surgeon

Journalist, Barbara Friedman speaks to Dr. Koen about how this golf ball size mechanical heart device, the Heartware Valve Assist Device (HVAD) work.

Listen to the audio below for more information....


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