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Heart pump fitted successfully in teen

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A Tyneside teenager has become the youngest and smallest person in the world to be fitted with a life-changing artificial heart pump.

The 13-year-old, who was born with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome - a condition that disrupts the heart’s rhythm, was rushed to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital after suffering acute heart failure last year, where he was diagnosed with the life-threatening disease dilated cardiomyopathy.

Surgeons fitted him with the device, which took over the work of the left side of his heart.

Four months on, Andrew has just been released from hospital, although he is still closely monitored by consultants.

Dr Richard Kirk, consultant paediatric cardiologist at the hospital, said the pump could one day render heart transplants a thing of the past.

He told The Northern Echo: “Within the next five to 10 years, the pump may be a real alternative to heart transplantation.”

The devices have been fitted in around 400 adults worldwide.

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