Norton Children’s performs 100th heart transplant on 9-year-old boy

Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville,. Ky.
Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville,. Ky.(Source: WAVE News)
Published: Oct. 17, 2023 at 8:11 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Norton Children’s Hospital celebrated a significant milestone on Monday after performing its 100th heart transplant.

The patient, a 9-year-old boy, had been waiting on the transplant list for almost a year.

“It’s exciting to reach this milestone,” said Bahaaldin Alsoufi, M.D., chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery and co-director of Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine. “We are the only pediatric program in the state capable of doing heart transplants. And we are doing that with outcomes that match those of the best programs in the United States.”

In 1986, Norton Children’s Hospital became the second hospital in the nation to perform a heart transplant in an infant, the release said.

Since then, Norton Children’s Heart Institute has grown into a full-service program featuring specialized teams dedicated to heart patients and their families. The Heart Institute’s Chief Surgeon says they’re the only pediatric program in the state capable of doing heart transplants and that it’s important to provide these life-changing services to local families.

“It’s a privilege to be a pediatric cardiac surgeon,” Alsoufi said. “Obviously, we are taking care of some sick patients, and we see them going through all the stages of the treatment and getting better. And it’s definitely very gratifying.”

Norton Children’s Hospital opened the Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit in 2020, the release said.

“Our heart program has a deep legacy that has grown and impacted the lives of children from all across our region,” said Lynnie Meyer, R.N., Ed.D. FAHP, CFRE, senior vice president and chief development officer, Norton Healthcare. “This work is simply not possible without the deep support of our entire community. I think about the countless people involved, and the resources we’ve been able to devote to ensuring these children and their families have hope for the future. We have a deep gratitude for what we have here at Norton Children’s Hospital.”