Mayo Clinic Champions

Mayo Clinic Champions share their knowledge and experience to help other patients make the best choices for their care. Champions are committed to making a difference in the lives of others facing complex health issues and always advocate for patients.

Feb 28, 2018

Researching innovative solutions for rare heart defect

By Tony Hart, Champion Specialist, @TonyHart87

HLHS heart imageHypoplastic left heart syndrome is a rare congenital heart defect that is present at birth. Treating hypoplastic left heart syndrome often requires multiple surgeries, and some will need a heart transplant. Because of its rare occurrence, Mayo Clinic has created a hypoplastic left heart syndrome consortium to expand the research and clinical trials.

A baby from Alabama named Ryals Sexton was one of the first to benefit from this consortium. After Sexton was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, his parents found out about a clinical trial aimed at using stem cells to strengthen the heart. “He is the strongest little boy … If you were just looking at him, you’d never know anything was wrong,” says Sexton’s mother. Hear more about hypoplastic left heart syndrome and Sexton’s patient story in this video:

The consortium includes hospitals with expertise in treating hypoplastic left heart syndrome including Mayo Clinic, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and Children’s Minnesota. The consortium seeks to find and apply innovative solutions, such as Sexton’s regenerative therapy, to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

Additional resources for hypoplastic left heart syndrome include:

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