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Faculty perform rare transplant, save young woman

May 2005

Wendy Bailey
Heart transplant patient Wendy Bailey
Wendy Bailey, 19, a college student from the Lower Rio Grande Valley, is thriving thanks to the work of John Calhoon, M.D., professor and chief of thoracic surgery at the Health Science Center; Charles Moore, M.D., surgical director of heart transplants and assist devices at the CHRISTUS Transplant Institute; Daniel Martinez, M.D., clinical assistant professor of surgery at the Health Science Center; and James Rogers, M.D., clinical professor of pediatric cardiology at the Health Science Center.

Bailey was born with unusual anatomy – a heart on the wrong side of her chest with one receiving chamber and one pumping chamber. In late 2004, her "birth heart" began to give out.

Drs. Calhoon, Moore, Martinez and Rogers worked together for months to define the anatomy and surgical approach.

A call from Austin brought the organ Bailey desperately needed and Dr. Moore drove there to procure it.

In late January, the Health Science Center and CHRISTUS Transplant Institute surgical team removed Wendy’s failing heart and implanted a new donor heart in the correct position in her chest.

"Our team gave her a new heart and did all of the plumbing necessary to put her heart where it belongs – in her left chest. It is a first for us in San Antonio, to my knowledge, and is a very rare kind of transplant," Dr. Calhoon said.

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