Keyoney Jenkins makes medical history in St. Louis

9:47 PM, Apr 12, 2013   |    comments
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By Anne Allred

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Sixteen-month-old Keyoney Jenkins has made medical history in St. Louis.

The toddler and her family travelled from Louisville, Ken. to St. Louis Children's Hospital for care while Keyoney awaited a heart transplant.

She suffers from myocarditis and her heart was incredibly weak.

"There were times where we didn't think she would make it," said Dr. Kathleen Simpson.

Cardiologists put Keyoney on a machine called a Berlin Heart. The machine sits outside the body and pumps all the blood because the sick heart is unable to function. After months of hospitalization, Keyoney slowly started to show signs of recovery.

"She's just always been a fighter," said Dr. Simpson.

Last week, Keyoney's heart recovered enough she was able to be not only taken off the Berlin Heart, but would no longer need a heart transplant.

Dozens of pediatric heart transplant patients have been treated with a Berlin Heart in St. Louis but not one has recovered until now.

Keyoney has one more check-up at Children's Hospital Monday and then she will return home to Kentucky.

Dr. Simpson estimates this type of recovery has happened less than 10 times nationwide.

Doctors say this is an exciting breakthrough for the hospital and may allow future children to come off the Berlin Heart without needing a transplant.


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