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Le Bonheur Children's Hospital celebrates its 50th heart transplant

The hospital is also celebrating the 5th anniversary of resuming its heart transplant program.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Le Bonheur is celebrating a huge milestone. It’s the 5th anniversary of the children’s hospital resuming its heart transplant program, and doctors there recently performed its 50th heart transplant.

17-year-old Ella Morrissey of Overland Park, Kansas, received her new heart on December 5, 2021, 19 days after being put on the transplant list.

Ella was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at age 10 after she passed out at school. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick (hypertrophied), making it harder for the heart to pump blood.

Ella got an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and was on medication until September 2021 when doctors said her condition started to deteriorate. On Sept. 11, 2021, Ella’s heart required four shocks from her ICD due to a severe arrhythmia.

Credit: Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
Ella Morrissey, heart transplant

Ella was admitted to Le Bonheur on November 9th and put on the transplant list on the 17th.

On Dec. 5, nineteen days after being put on the transplant list, Ella received her heart.

Credit: Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
Ella Morrissey, heart transplant

“We could not be more thrilled to be celebrating five years as a heart transplant program here at Le Bonheur,” said Le Bonheur President and CEO Michael Wiggins, DBA, FACHE. “Our team’s dedication to children has allowed them to save 50 children in the past five years which is incredible. With the collaborative effort of our doctors, staff, donors and entire Le Bonheur team, we are able to continue to provide this great service right here in the Mid-South.”

On October 22, 2016, a team of surgeons performed the hospital’s first transplant since 1996 for 20-month-old Lyric Everhart of Memphis. Doctors said within two days of her surgery, Lyric was brushing her teeth, playing with dolls and blowing bubbles.

Le Bonheur said today, Lyric is seven-years old, loves math, playing games, and has routine checkups with her heart team at Le Bonheur.

From Le Bonheur: The Heart Institute at Le Bonheur Children’s is nationally recognized as a top pediatric cardiology and heart surgery program by U.S. News & World Report. Le Bonheur provides care for patients with congenital heart defects, cardiomyopathies, heart failure, arrhythmias and acquired heart disease from before birth through adulthood.