STL Children's Hospital Saves 5-Month-Old With Heart-Lung Transplant

Jack became the youngest patient in more than a decade to undergo a successful heart-lung transplant.

August 22, 2018 - 11:53 am

A 2017 ultrasound showed Chuck and Tiffany Palmer of Kansas City that their baby ultimately had half a heart - a rare and deadly diagnosis.

The family was given little to no hope for the baby’s survival, but the Palmers wouldn’t give up. They went to The Heart Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital, finding hope through a doctor who took a different approach.

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Before St. Louis Children's Hospital, the parents had been referred to two different centers in the region, and were declined both times. But when Dr. Pirooz Eghtesady - a cardiothoracic surgeon with Washington University in St. Louis - heard Jack's story, he knew something had to be done. 

Instead of a series of surgeries, which did not promise good outcomes, Eghtesady and his team performed a heart-lung transplant on Jack when he was 5-months-old - making Jack the youngest documented patient in a decade to have the successful and rare procedure. The last successful heart-lung transplant was also at St. Louis Children's Hospital - in 2016 for 15-year-old Spencer Kolman.

Today, Jack is thriving. After living in St. Louis since the surgery, the family looks forward to taking their baby home to Kansas City next week. 

Video courtesy of St. Louis Children's Hospital