Mechanical heart pump yields new hope -

Mechanical heart pump yields hope

There may be new hope for children suffering from heart failure – the first pediatric heart pump designed to help a child's heart pump blood until an organ can be found.

Nine-year-old Lane Eberhardt is a force to be reckoned with at only four feet tall.

You'd never guess that about two years ago, Lane needed a new heart.

Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Robert Stewart says, "There came a day when Lane just didn't look like he should go home, didn't look like he should be outside the hospital. He looked ill."

Born with congenital heart disease, Lane's body began shutting down and his medical team turned to a heart pump that was just approved by the FDA. It's called the Berlin heart.

"Our options were to put him on ECHMO, which buys us weeks, maybe a month to find an organ; let him die, or put in a ventricular assist device," says Dr. Stewart.

The device bought Lane eight more months.

And then, the news everyone had been waiting for finally came: He was going to get a heart.

"The minute they told us that the heart was beating, I think I had a huge release of emotion," recalls Lane's mom, Traci Reichman.

After living at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for almost a year, Lane left for good just weeks after his transplant. Today, he continues to amaze people.

"He did run through a mine field and made it," says Dr. Stewart. "Is that a miracle? No. Is it pretty darn lucky? Yeah."

"Don't give up on your kids," adds Tracy. "There is always an answer somewhere."

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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