Children’s Health Transplants Its 250th Heart

A high school freshman from Fort Worth was the recipient of the 250th heart transplant at The Heart Center at Children’s Health. The milestone procedure took place on Thursday, March 1.

Children’s Health’s pediatric heart transplant program—the only one in North Texas and one of just two in the state—is celebrating its 30-year anniversary this year. In addition to hearts, the center does liver and kidney transplants. Overall, it’s performed more than 1,300 organ transplants in children.

“This is a proud moment for the Heart Center as we reflect on the lives transformed through our heart transplant program,” said Dr. Robert Jaquiss, a co-director at the center, in a statement. Jacquiss is also the director of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Children’s Health and a professor of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery and pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The 250th heart went to Casey Huff, a 15-year-old who as a baby was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, meaning the left side of her heart was critically undeveloped. After three open-heart surgeries as a toddler, Huff had enjoyed a relatively healthy childhood before she had a heart attack in September 2017.

“Casey’s going to be better off than she’s ever been. She doesn’t understand what it’s going to feel like, for example, to not get tired running,” says her mom, Bethany Huff. “We’re just very excited for her.”