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Regeneration Instead of Transplantation in Pediatric DCM

Written by Mirela Dezman – Zagreb, Croatia, Europe

I want to share our story because I think it is extremely important to raise awareness of the existence of a method that can save many young lives and can give a big step forward in the treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy among children.

The method is called “pulmonary artery banding” and the pioneer of this novel heart failure therapy is Professor Dietmar Schranz, Giessen, Germany. It is already being used in clinics around the world. Briefly, I would like to share my experience for your benefit. 

From Healthy to DCM & Heart Failure

From a healthy pregnancy (fetal echocardiography was performed, no family history of DCM), my daughter was born with no signs of heart failure. Then, at the age of three months, cough and tachycardia began so we were admitted to the PICU department where her EF was below 15%. With drug therapy, her condition was stable, but without improvement. The only solution was to either wait for recovery with medication or to wait for a transplant.

Recovery did not occur.

Transplantation at that age is extremely demanding, due to the small number of donors and the age of the child.

Searching for a Miracle

After daily research, reading, and trying to accept that our child had DCM, Professor Schranz came to the congress and visited our clinic and introduced us to the PAB method, telling us that there is hope for her heart to recover. It is thanks to him and our great Professor Malcic that we are here right now. Everyone who goes through the same story knows that those words, “hope for recovery”, sound like a miracle.

The dream becomes reality.

Our daughter met all the criteria for PAB (see the article links below) and our journey could begin. Finally, after 2 months of hospitalization, we saw a light at the end of the tunnel.

Surgery and Recovery

After the open-heart surgery, her condition began to improve visibly. After one year of recovery, along with ongoing treatment including Bisoprolol, Lisinopril, and Spironolactone, her heart was working with an EF of 60%.

Today, she is living the normal life of an 8-year-old. I want you to join me in spreading awareness about the existence of this method and to consult with pediatric cardiologists because the most beautiful gift a mother can receive is to watch her child growing up and just be grateful for life. One brilliant mind and worldwide colleagues with an open heart and mind have allowed children from Croatia, Germany, Africa, US, Turkey, Italy, and other countries to testify that a BROKEN HEART CAN RECOVER.

Feel free to contact me via Mr. Greg Ruf at the DCM Foundation for any advice, or just to talk and receive support.

Thank you to Greg and the whole DCM FOUNDATION team for being a part of our story now and I believe that together we will save many little hearts.

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(Published with permission from the author. All rights reserved. DCM Foundation 2021.)

*Medical Disclaimer: All DCM patients are different. Information presented on the DCM Foundation website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician, cardiologist, or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and/or before doing any activity.

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