Child Lives Without Heart For 118 Days
After her first heart transplant failed within a day, 14-year-old D’Zhana Simmons lived 118 days with a custom-built artificial heart until another donor could be found.
“It was like I was a fake person, like I didn’t really exist,” she said at Holtz Children’s Hospital. “But I know that I really was here.”
A year prior, D’Zhana learned that her enlarged heart was too weak to pump enough blood, a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. UHealth/Jackson surgeons performed a heart transplant, but a day later, the new heart developed a large clot in one of its ventricles and had to be removed.
In the past, this situation would have been lethal.
Instead, Dr. Marco Ricci modified a ventricular assist device, which is commonly used for only hours at a time, into a long-term artificial heart. “She essentially lived for 118 days without a heart, with her circulation supported only by two blood pumps,” Dr. Ricci said.
D’Zhana recovered and Dr. Ricci and his team were able to proceed with the second heart transplant shortly thereafter.
Dec. 1920 Jackson History
Miami City Hospital Launches its Training School for Nurses. Link opens story page.
In 1923, Ainah V. Royce, R.N helps open the fully accredited Miami City Hospital Training School For Nurses to help with overflow of patients.Explore in story page.
Jan. 1973 Jackson History
The Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Opens. Link opens story page.
In 1973, Jackson’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) opened with seven tiny premature infants with incubators and adapted adult ventilators.Explore in story page.
May. 2012 Miracle Stories
Man Saved After Brutal Attack on the MacArthur Causeway. Link opens story page.
On May 2012, Ronald Poppo was brought to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital after being brutally attacked on the MacArthur Causeway. The story of his attack made international headlines.Explore in story page.