Camilo was born in Buenos Aires on November 25, 2015. Even before his birth, in the 5th month of pregnancy, he was diagnosed with heart failure.
Due to dilated cardiomyopathy, a pathological enlargement of his heart muscle, Camilo's physical performance was limited. Camilo could not run, jump and romp like other children his age. He preferred to play with his building blocks, toy cars and trains.
Despite his severe diagnosis, Camilo could be treated with medication on an ambulatory basis for almost 5 years. However, in April 2020, Camilo's health worsened, he was always tired and increasingly weak. Camilo had to go to the hospital and the doctors there did not have good news. Camilo's small heart was too weak and he urgently needed a donor heart.
In fact, he soon got better and Camilo was even allowed to go home with his parents. But then his condition suddenly became acute, Camilo could no longer breathe. In the emergency room of the hospital, Camilo suffered a cardiac arrest. Doctors were able to resuscitate Camilo and he was placed on ECMO for stabilization.
Camilo's family does not leave his side in the hospital. Mom Leslie gives hope and strength to her little Camilo: "Camilo stayed on ECMO for 20 days until we received the wonderful news that a ventricular assist device would be placed. The Berlin Heart would allow Camilo to wait for a donor heart, which he so desperately needs."
The implantation of the EXCOR® Pediatric was without complications and quite fast. When Camilo woke up, his parents explained the unfamiliar system to him. They told him that the EXCOR® is a machine that keeps him alive. And it will do so until he gets a donor heart.
Camilo understood this and got used to the device very quickly. He accepted it as a given and was careful not to twist the cannulae when he sat down. At night, when he went to sleep, the first thing he did was put the pumps in a position that was comfortable for him.
The nurses always had fun with Camilo, and when it was time for dressing changes or daily pump checks, they played his favorite music.
Camilo's parents made him understand that he won't need the EXCOR® forever. But it will help him recover while they wait for the heart.
Exactly 5 days before Camilo's 5th birthday, Camilo received a donor heart.
The transplantation lasted about 6 hours and went without complications. Shortly after Camilo woke up from the anesthesia, he was already calling for his mom.
For Camilo's family, it has been an emotional journey with ups and downs until this point. Mama Leslie would like to share Camilo's story to encourage other parents:
"We must not lose hope, we must fight side by side with our children. We have to support our children. Then they will have a chance to get through these bad times in their lives. We have to be by their side and stay positive to make their wait for a donor heart easier. We are incredibly grateful that Berlin Heart exists. Camilo would not have survived the wait for a heart transplant otherwise. Through all these experiences, I have realized that I am stronger than I ever expected."
Dear Leslie, we are working on the continuous development of our systems and want to give many children with heart disease the chance of a happy future. Thank you very much for your great trust. We wish Camilo all the best, you are an incredibly strong family!
The access to some or all shown products may be restricted by country-specific regulatory approvals. The use of EXCOR® VAD for adults, RVAD-support, EXCOR® venous cannulas with grafts, Excor mobile and EXCOR® Active is not FDA-approved and not available for commer¬cial use in the US.