11-year-old boy undergoes first SD pediatric heart transplant
Published - 01/30/15 - 09:25 AM | 4198 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eric Montaño, attended by mother Alma Mundo, recovers from San Diego's first pediatric heart transplant. PHOTO COURTESY RADY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
Eric Montaño, attended by mother Alma Mundo, recovers from San Diego's first pediatric heart transplant. PHOTO COURTESY RADY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
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An 11-year-old boy has undergone the first pediatric heart transplant performed in San Diego, having taken place Jan. 14 at Rady Children's Hospital.

Eric Montaño suffered from restrictive cardiomyopathy, a disorder that prevented his heart from filling with blood properly. He went on the heart transplant waiting list last August.

Eric's mom, Alma Mundo, said she got a call recently from the hospital advising her that a donor heart had been found and she needed to get Eric to the hospital immediately.

“My emotions were just all going crazy because I didn’t know if I was crying because I was happy or because I was scared. I was excited, but it was really, really tough,” Mundo said.

“Performing a heart transplant truly takes a team effort,” said Eric Devaney, cardiac transplant surgeon who lead the surgery. “In addition to the cardiologists and surgeons involved, the transplant team is comprised of a variety of healthcare professionals, including a transplant nurse, a pathologist, a pharmacist, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, dietitians and child life specialists.”

Rady transplant cardiologist Rakesh Singh, who will oversee Eric's post-operative care, said he has an excellent prognosis.

“He has a very good chance of surviving a long time," said Singh who will be monitoring his post-operative care."My hope is that his heart can be with him for at least 20 or 30 years, assuming he does all the things we ask of him, which includes taking medications and coming in for visits.”

Eric's twin brother, Raul, also has a bad heart. He's still waiting for a donor organ to become available.

On average, fewer than 500 pediatric heart transplants are performed worldwide each year.

Rady maintains a neonatal intensive care unit in La Jolla.

--KPBS

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