6-year-old receives donor heart - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6-year-old receives donor heart

A lot of people are alive today because of ECMO, a heart lung machine that breaths for a baby who can't do that on his own yet.

Normally, it's a temporary fix to allow babies time to develop, but it's not just for babies, and temporary can be a long time.

Until this week, 6-year-old Cameron Ulrich held the record for the longest stretch on an ECMO machine - 199 days, about 6 and a half months.

But this week, Cameron was finally taken off that heart lung machine when a donor heart became available for his transplant.

"Who's to say how many more days he would have lasted. But it was really down to the wire," said Karl Ulrich, who is the father of Cameron.

Doctors today say the surgery was a success, but Cameron still has a long road ahead of him. He'll stay in the hospital for at least another month and then spend about three months in recovery.

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