CALGARY – A four year old Calgary girl has become the youngest heart and lung transplant patient in Alberta history.
Cheyanne Mattern began experiencing breathing problems, turned blue and fainted. She was rushed to a Calgary hospital where she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension – a rare and dangerous disease for a young child.
In August, Cheyenne was transferred to the Stollery Hospital in Edmonton. She didn’t respond to treatment and soon went into cardiac arrest. She was placed on a form of life support for 40 days.
“A machine took the blood from her body, put it through a pump and returned it back to her – it completely took over the heart and lung functions,” says Shaun Hill, Cheyanne’s father.
Shaun and Cheyanne’s mother Amanda were told that without a heart and lung transplant, their little girl would not survive.
In October, it took surgeons nine hours to perform the surgery; it was a challenging procedure made more complicated because the donor organs were larger than Cheyanne’s damaged ones.
Her family says Cheyanne is now doing well; they will move to Edmonton so she can continue to be monitored by doctors at the Stollery.
“We don’t know how long she’ll be here but I just want her to have the best kind of life a kid that’s been through what she has can have,” says Amanda.
She is the third child to receive a heart and lung transplant in Alberta.