German invention saves Winnipeg girl's life
Published Wednesday, June 1, 2011 4:57PM CST
A 4-year-old girl has beaten the odds and no longer needs a heart transplant thanks to something called the Berlin Heart.
It is a device that sits outside the patient's chest with small tubes implanted into the body to pump the heart.
"The Berlin Heart helped my heart to get stronger," said 4-year-old Sophie Upton.
Upton was a patient in an Edmonton hospital for two years waiting for a heart transplant. The mechanical device didn't just give her the time she needed, it also gave her heart a chance to repair itself.
"She was the longest survivor of having a Berlin Heart," said Dr. Ivan Rebeyka of the Stollery Children's Hospital. "She is a little bit of a record breaker for us."
Now Upton can live her life like any other child her age. Edward Upton says as soon as she could go play, she would.
"She said daddy, I want to go by myself to the beach, which is a play area here. She hasn't looked back since," said Upton.
"We're happy she's going to be able to enjoy a normal life and hopefully away from the hospital for a long time," said Sophia's mother Ling Upton.
The little girl is still battling blood cancer, but she is expected to make a full recovery.
- with a report from CTV's Eleanor Coopsammy