The world's heart pumping device has been fitted into a child for the first time ever with a Gateshead boy receiving the device. The 13-year-old boy called Andrew was seriously ill in December after being diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
In this condition, the heart muscle stops functioning normally. Andrew was born with a condition called Wolff-Parkinson White (WPW) syndrome, which disrupts the functioning of the heart. His brother died of the same condition in 2000, which his sister was stillborn because of the same condition.
Medical staff at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital fitted Andrew with the device, which will create an artificial heartbeat and allow him to live normally until a donor is found for a heart transplant.
"We didn't honestly believe that we'd be where we are today," said Andrew's father David Imes. "If it wasn't for the machine that has been fitted, we wouldn't actually have him here." Dr Richard Kirk, consultant paediatric cardiologist at the Freeman Hospital, said that the device was a temporary solution until a transplant could be performed.