This health video looks at the new technology which is allowing surgeons to close children's hearts.
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Jennifer Matthews: Rista Tweedy is surprisingly calm when she recalls the day her parents told her she needed heart surgery. Rista Tweedy: They just told me that there was something wrong with it. They're going to fix it. Jennifer Matthews: Rista was born with a hole in her heart. Here you see blood spilling into the opposite heart chamber. If it's not fixed, it could lead to heart failure. But the standard fix isn't easy, it's open-heart surgery. David Balzer: They actually take a bone saw, and they cut through the breastbone, open it up, and then spread it open so that they expose the heart. Jennifer Matthews: But Dr. Balzer offered Rista a new procedure, done through a tiny puncture in the groin artery and vein. First, he slides small tubes up the artery into the heart chambers. David Balzer: Through those tubes, we can deliver a device which looks a little bit like an Oreo cookie. It has two disks and a central sort-of connecting waist. Jennifer Matthews: That cookie covers the hole. David Balzer: It's similar to putting a cork in a bottle, in terms of an analogy, or the little Dutch boy who has his finger in the dike. Jennifer Matthews: Remember that leak in Rista's heart? Here's her heart now, no leaks. Rista is back with her favorite pastime without heart worries. Angela Tweedy: I'd say, more than anything she's very, very determined. If you tell her she can't, she will do anything to prove you wrong. Jennifer Matthews: And she sets her goals high. At least now she knows she'll have the stamina and the heart to do both. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.
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