A seven-year-old boy has received a heart transplant after spending 17 months being kept alive by an artificial heart in an Italian children’s hospital, the facility said Wednesday.
The young patient was “successfully operated on after 525 days of hospitalisation” the Regina Margherita Hospital in the northwestern city of Turin said.
The hospitalisation period was “a real record with a happy ending,” it said a statement.
The boy was dismissed “a few days ago”, the hospital added.
Originally from Morocco, he arrived in Italy—where his father had moved for work reasons—in the summer of 2019, after developing symptoms of heart failure.
His condition worsened quickly, leading to cardiac arrest. He survived after doctors put him on a life support machine and implanted him with an artificial heart.
It then took a long time to perform a heart transplant “because there aren’t that many organs available for young children”, a hospital spokesman told AFP.
During his stay, the boy “developed a taste for Italian cuisine” and learnt Italian, while his parents, who stayed with him throughout, had another son, the hospital said.