Teen on mechanical heart gets transplant

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5, 2007 (AFP) – A Malaysian teenage girl desperately looking for a new heart has successfully undergone a transplant operation after being hooked up to a mechanical heart for over a year, reports said Friday. Tee Hui Yee, 14, received a heart in a 10-hour operation at the National Heart Institute late Wednesday. The donor was an anonymous 15-year old boy who had earlier died in a road accident.

“It was a risky operation and I will not go into details but Tee has waited for a year and now we’ll have to wait and see,” Health Minister Chua Soi Lek was quoted saying in New Straits Times.

“We are very glad that Tee has finally gotten her heart,” he said.

The girl had earlier made tearful pleas through the media for a donor heart while her doctors expressed concern over her deteriorating condition.

“How long more do I have to wait for a heart? I need a donor soon,” Tee said according to New Straits Times on Sunday.

Tee, who was diagnosed with heart failure after suffering a viral infection when she was just two years old, was fitted last year with a mechanical heart — a device implanted outside her abdomen and connected to her heart.

She had to lug a battery weighing nine-kilograms (