The Daily Need

Photo: A tiny pioneer

On this day in 1984, Stephanie Fae Beuclair, who was born with a fatal condition called hypoplastic left-heart syndrome, underwent a controversial procedure called a xenotransplant. At Loma Linda University Medical Center, Dr. Leonard Bailey replaced the severely underdeveloped heart of the 14-day-old infant with the walnut-size heart of a young baboon. The interspecies heart transplant generated ethical debates and headlines around the world. The tiny patient, known only as "Baby Fae" survived 21 days. What was learned from the procedure paved the way for the first successful infant-to-infant heart transplant a year later, and for thousands of successful child heart transplants since.

 
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Comments

  • RossannaC

    The loss of a child is against nature. The death of an infant is a sorrow that seems unending. It is only when the death proves to be not senseless, when it will benefit other such babies, that there is some hope for healing for the parents.