Team Paula

An online journey of one young woman's battle to stay alive and raise her daughter. She is only the second person in the US to receive the 50cc TAH-t artificial heart, a bridge to transplant.

The Call

On June 9th, 2015, Paula's sister received a call at 11:30pm.  Paula's heart had stopped and CPR was being performed. Miraculously Paula survived four hours of CPR with no brain damage. Emergency surgery was being scheduled as soon as possible.  The surgery was to put Paula on life support (breathing machines, feeding tubes, heart machines) as a temporary solution to stabilize her. Her chance of survival 20-50%.

Paula made it through the night  and survived the emergency surgery.  On June 11th, 2015 at 7:15am the transplant team inserted an artificial heart (mechanical) into Paula's chest cavity after completely removing her heart.  The surgery was exactly 16 years from her first transplant. Her new device the 50cc TAH-t is an investigational (not approved by FDA) device. The 50cc TAH-t (nicknamed by Paula, "Stanley") is a smaller model of the 70cc TAH-t device. The research study for the 50cc TAH-t is not yet approved for enrollment at Cedars-Sinai. However, her physicians determined that her heart function had diminished to a critical level and they determined that the 50cc investigational TAH-t might help her as a bridge to transplant. 

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