Texas girl is first child in U.S. to receive heart implant

A 4-year-old Texas girl became the first child in the United States -- and second in the world -- to receive an implant that will keep her heart pumping, KHOU reported.

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Kateyln Hickman received the Jarvik 2015 Ventricular Assistant Device, tailored specifically for children 4 and younger suffering from heart failure, the television station reported.

"The only real therapy we have for a patient like her is to do a transplant, but we have to be able to get her there safely," Jeff Dreyer, medical director of heart failure, cardiomyopathy and cardiac transplantation at Texas Children's Hospital, told KHOU.

The implant, which uses an AA battery, pumps oxygenated blood out of the heart. Iki Adachi, who also works at the Texas Children’s Hospital, has called results of the implant “so dramatic.”

"These patients are really, really sick before operation," Adachi told KHOU. "I was particularly happy, because the family was super happy, seeing their kids doing really well."

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