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A world first stem cell transplant for a tiny heart patient


A U.S mother believes her son is alive today because of a world first umbilical stem cell transplant.

Little Bennett Harbison was diagnosed before he was born in 2018 with hypo plastic left heart syndrome – a condition his mother Jennifer had never heard of.

It means the left side of Bennett’s heart did not develop and he was facing multiple surgeries through his life before needing a heart transplant. 

But Dr Harold Burkhartt and his team from OU Children’s Hospital gathered some of Bennett’s umbilical blood at his birth, processed it and froze it until the stem cells were injected into the little boy’s heart when he was a few months old. 

Doctors hoped this would mean his heart would grow more cells and become stronger, which is exactly what happened.

You can watch Bennett’s remarkable story here and read more about his case. 




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