15-year old Anthony Stokes has a new heart after all. The Atlanta teen received the life-saving transplant yesterday after initially being turned down by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta 10 days ago because of “past failure to take medicine and keep doctors’ appointments,” according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Without the operation it is doubted that he would have survived more than 3-6 months, due to his heart’s inability to pump blood through his body properly. The Hospital’s reversal came after his parents complained and put him in the media spotlight.
Prior to the actual transplant, Anthony underwent a procedure Friday to insert a ventricle assist device (VAD) to help his circulation to keep him alive until he received his new organ. The VAD is a mechanical pump that includes a small tube that carries blood to the heart, which then sends it out to the blood vessels in the body.
Anthony’s transplant took a little over 5 hours. He is now recovering in intensive care, where he “is doing great,” according to Stokes family spokesman Mark Bell. The Hospital declines to provide further details citing its policy of patient privacy.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has performed 279 pediatric heart transplants to date, including three in the past week alone.