August 18, 2016

Healing Baby Lucas’ Heart With His Own Cells

By Alyse Brunella

Jennifer Gutman refers to the day doctors diagnosed her son, Lucas, with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), the worst day of her life. HLHS is a condition where the left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped and can’t effectively pump blood to the body. In an effort to find the best outcome for Lucas, his family connected with Dr. Tim Nelson, lead researcher in Mayo Clinic’s HLHS Program. Dr. Nelson and his team were developing a clinical trial using regenerative therapies like stem cell injections to strengthen the right side of the heart in individuals who have HLHS. Doctors determined that Lucas was a good candidate for the clinical trial – and after careful consideration, Jennifer and her husband decided to move forward. Lucas received the stem cell treatment in December 2015 and after a series of checkups, the initial results look promising for Lucas. Learn more about Lucas and Dr. Nelson’s program from Sharing Mayo Clinic.

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