Dell Children’s first-of-its-kind pediatric heart surgery


Grace Jennings is an 11-year old who was born with a congenital heart defect that required multiple cardiac operations early in her life and struggled to maintain a somewhat normal childhood for a girl her age. However, in early September, she was facing heart failure and suffered a cardiac arrest. She was brought to Dell Children’s where a team of skilled professionals performed open-heart surgery on her and implanted a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). The device is a mechanical pump that supports the circulation and partially replaces heart function in people who have weakened hearts. This was a first-of-its-kind pediatric heart surgery in a small child and a first for children with heart disease in Central Texas.