For the last five years, Edgar Arredondo has relied on a ventricular assist device (VAD) to keep his heart pumping. Arredondo has lived with Becker Muscular Dystrophy since elementary school, and the VAD has allowed him to live a relatively normal life outside of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. There, he has earned the distinction of living with a VAD longer than any other pediatric recipient.
Treating heart ailments in children is nothing new for hospital staff; an article from Packard Children's describes how David Rosenthal, MD, director of the hospital's VAD program, and his team have developed a treatment program that allows kids with VADs to live at home and go to school, increasing their quality of life. Aileen Lin, a nurse practitioner with the program, explains:
We train parents and siblings how to be 'VAD active'...we teach them how to change the batteries and when to call the hospital. We also inform the emergency medical service providers in the community where the patient lives to make them aware.
That dedication has meant the world to Arredondo's mother, Imelda: "becoming a patient at Stanford was a new opportunity for Edgar to have a life."
Previously: Helping kids with chronic medical conditions make the jump to adult care, 61-year-old grandfather gets new heart valve at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and Doctors at Packard Children's extend life of 20-month-old's failing heart
Image: Norbert von der Groeben