Heart surgeon 'probably saved boy's life' thanks to 'world's first' stem cell operation

TECHNOLOGY

A heart surgeon has given a boy a ‘chance in a lifetime’ thanks to a ‘world’s first’ operation using stem cells from placentas.

Finley Pantry was born with a congenital heart defect which meant the two main arteries that supply blood to his lungs and body were in the wrong positions.

At just four days old, he had his first open-heart surgery to put major arteries back in their normal position.

Unfortunately, the newborn suffered complications and his heart function rapidly deteriorated, leaving him trapped in intensive care for weeks, depending on medication and a ventilator to keep his heart working.

Finley Pantry (pictured with her mother, Melissa Hudd) was born with a congenital heart defect that meant the two main arteries that supply blood to her lungs and body were in the wrong positions.

At just four days old, he had his first open-heart surgery to put major arteries back in their normal position.

At just four days old, he had his first open-heart surgery to put major arteries back in their normal position.

Heart defects: the most common type of abnormality that develops before the baby is born

Heart defects are the most common type of abnormality that develops before a baby is born, with around 13 babies diagnosed with congenital heart problems every day in the UK.

Currently, for many of these children, surgeons can perform open-heart surgery to temporarily repair the problem, but the materials used for the patches or replacement heart valves are not completely biological and cannot grow with the baby.

This means that a child may therefore have to undergo the same heat operation several times during childhood, which keeps them in the hospital for weeks on end.

But thanks to a doctor, he now lives as a happy two-year-old looking forward to Christmas with his family in Corsham, Wiltshire.

Professor Massimo Caputo of the Bristol Heart Institute told Finley’s mother that he might try using pioneering stem cells to correct the heart defect.

The procedure involved stem cells from a bank of placenta that were injected directly into Finley’s heart in hopes of helping damaged blood vessels grow.

Remarkably, Finley was then taken off the drugs and ventilation he was on – and is now a ‘happy little boy’.

Finley’s mum Melissa Hudd said: ‘We almost lost Finley when he was just two months old. The doctors called us into a room and told us they had done everything they could.

“That’s when Massimo came to meet us and explained that there was one option left – to inject stem cells into the left side of Finley’s heart.

“He warned us that he could not predict what the outcome would be. But we had absolutely nothing to lose. We had to try to give Finley every possible chance to live.

Just two weeks after the stem cell treatment, the family noticed a change in Finley, and he was sent home for the first time at six months old on a machine that still helps him breathe at night.

Unfortunately, the newborn suffered complications and his heart function rapidly deteriorated, leaving him trapped in intensive care for weeks, depending on medication and a ventilator to keep his heart working.

Unfortunately, the newborn suffered complications and his heart function rapidly deteriorated, leaving him trapped in intensive care for weeks, depending on medication and a ventilator to keep his heart working.

Professor Massimo Caputo of the Bristol Heart Institute told Finley's mother that he might try to use the pioneering stem cell 'scaffold' to correct the heart defect

Professor Massimo Caputo of the Bristol Heart Institute told Finley’s mother that he might try to use the pioneering stem cell ‘scaffold’ to correct the heart defect

“We can’t thank Massimo enough,” said Ms. Hudd. ‘I believe that if it weren’t for the stem cell treatment, Finley would not be here with us today.

‘Finley is very feisty and very funny – he’s a real warrior of the heart and I tell him that all the time.

‘We don’t know what the future holds, but we are very grateful that Finley’s life has changed after the stem cell treatment, as he now has a chance at life that he might not otherwise have had.’

Heart defects are the most common type of abnormality that develops before a baby is born, with around 13 babies diagnosed with congenital heart problems every day in the UK.

Finley now lives as a happy two-year-old looking forward to Christmas with his family in Corsham, Wiltshire.

Finley now lives as a happy two-year-old looking forward to Christmas with his family in Corsham, Wiltshire.

The stem cell injection treatment Finley received inspired Professor Caputo to develop stem cell 'patches' that can grow with a child's heart as they age, eliminating the need for repetitive surgeries and the many days in hospital. recovering after each one.

The stem cell injection treatment Finley received inspired Professor Caputo to develop stem cell ‘patches’ that can grow with a child’s heart as they age, eliminating the need for repetitive surgeries and the many days in hospital. recovering after each one.

Currently, for many of these children, surgeons can perform open-heart surgery to temporarily repair the problem, but the materials used for the patches or replacement heart valves are not completely biological and cannot grow with the baby.

This means that a child may therefore have to undergo the same heat operation several times during childhood, which keeps them in the hospital for weeks on end.

The stem cell injection treatment Finley received inspired Professor Caputo to develop stem cell ‘patches’ that can grow with a child’s heart as they age, eliminating the need for repetitive surgeries and the many days in hospital. recovering after each one.

Professor Caputo has been awarded £750,000 by the British Heart Foundation with the aim of preparing these patches for testing on patients, so that clinical trials can begin within the next two years.

Professor Caputo has been awarded £750,000 by the British Heart Foundation with the aim of preparing these patches for testing on patients, so that clinical trials can begin within the next two years.

Professor Caputo has received £750,000 from the British Heart Foundation to prepare these patches for testing in patients, so that clinical trials can begin within the next two years.

He said: ‘For years, families have come to us asking why their children need to have heart surgery again and again.

“While each operation can be life-saving, the experience can place an unbelievable amount of stress on the child and their parents.

“We believe that our stem cell patches will be the answer to solving these problems.”

If you liked this article:

Scientists create ‘mini eyes’ in lab in discovery that could help thousands of people at risk of vision loss

Scientists develop a new technique to rejuvenate skin cells – claiming they can turn back the aging clock by 30 YEARS

Male infertility advances as scientists create viable sperm from monkey stem cells

Stem cells are helping researchers study the development of mammals, allowing them to fight disease and create organs for human transplants.

Stem cells are the raw materials of the body – a basic type of cell that can develop into another, more specialized type of cell through a process known as differentiation.

Think of stem cells as a new ball of clay that can be molded into any cell in the body – including bones, muscles, skin and more.

This ability means they have been the focus of much medical research over the last few decades.

They grow in embryos like embryonic stem cells, helping the rapidly growing baby form the millions of different types of cells it needs to build before birth.

The embryonic stem cells used in research come from unused embryos that result from an in vitro fertilization procedure and are donated to science.

In adults, they are used as repair cells, replacing those we lose through damage or aging.

For adults, there are two types: one type comes from fully developed tissues such as the brain, skin and bone marrow; the other includes pluripotent stem cells.

Pluripotent stem cells have been altered in the laboratory to look more like embryonic stem cells.

🇧🇷

Tags