A 12-year-old British girl is believed to have become the world’s first heart transplant patient to have her donor organ removed and her own heart restarted. When she was only two, Hannah Clark from South Wales had a heterotopic transplant operation – known as a “piggyback” because the donor heart is placed next to the original. However, complications arose recently after she started reacting badly to drugs meant to stop her body rejecting the new heart.
She is now delighted surgeons took the decision to remove the donor organ. “I feel good, I was really excited because I was allowed to take the donor heart out,” she said at her home in Mountain Ash. Nowadays, a temporary device would be installed for an enlarged heart condition like Hannah’s. Her mum, Elizabeth, says that was not an option 10 years ago. “I didn’t think it would ever be done, but I’m so glad we’re in this situation,” she said. Hannah is said to be recovering well and looking forward to returning to school.