This medical video looks at the new technology that has created a mechanical heart for children.
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Jennifer Matthews: Before her second birthday, Serafina Akard got very, very sick. She was sleeping more and eating less. Then, she had trouble breathing. Suzanne Akard: Her cardiologist admitted her to ICU, and it was that night that she went into cardiac arrest. Jennifer Matthews: Serafina needed a transplant. Finding a heart could take months. Time Serafina did not have. Dr. Stephen Roth: She had just days or at most a couple of weeks. Jennifer Matthews: Doctors said only a Berlin Heart could keep Serafina alive until she could get a transplant. It's a mechanical heart that helps weak hearts pump blood. The only catch? It's not FDA approved in the U.S. Dr. Stephen Roth: There is a pretty complicated process that we go through to get permission from the FDA, then permission from the company. Jennifer Matthews: The wait was agonizing, but Serafina's family never gave up. Suzanne Akard: You can't actually sit and think, 'Oh, how terrible.' You have to keep pushing yourself and be strong for you child's sake. Jennifer Matthews: Doctors pushed through the mass of red tape and got the device in record time. When we caught up with Serafina, the Berlin Heart was attached to her chest. Suzanne Akard: All those months, it was just heartbreaking, and now, here she is. She's not able to get up and do things yet, but she's just so aware and just so happy that it's wonderful. Jennifer Matthews: Serafina's doctors believe the best is yet to come. When Serafina can finally go home with a new heart. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.
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