Cardiac Surgeons At New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital Saved The Lives Of Two Infant Girls With A Groundbreaking “Domino” Organ Transplant

Monkey Business - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

Last Spring, remarkable history was made at the New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital when two infant girls’ lives were saved in a one-of-a-kind procedure.

Mia Skaats and Brooklyn Civil are two baby girls who were born with rare heart defects and had to spend time in the hospital’s neonatal cardiac intensive care unit.

Mia was born with a form of cardiomyopathy that made it difficult for her heart muscles to pump blood to the rest of her body. As a tiny baby, she was in heart failure and spent seven months in the NICU awaiting a heart transplant.

Brooklyn was diagnosed with truncus arteriosus while her mother was 20 weeks pregnant with her. Brooklyn’s heart never developed a pulmonary or aortic valve, which is crucial for pumping blood out of her heart.

She had to have surgery when she was only four months old, and her family was preparing for her to have many more surgeries, and doctors knew she too could go into heart failure down the line.

Then, on May 10th, 2023, Brooklyn’s parents received a call and found out their baby could be a part of a miraculous ‘domino’ transplant procedure. A domino transplant occurs when one patient receives an organ transplant and donates the healthy, functioning parts of their organ to another patient.

That day in May, Mia’s family found out the joyous news that their baby girl would receive a donor heart. While Mia had cardiomyopathy, she still had functioning valves, so the doctors realized her valves could be donated to Brooklyn via a domino transplant.

A domino procedure as delicate as this had never been done before on infants, and while the girls’ families were worried about the risks, they knew it was the best chance they had to save their lives.

Mia’s donor heart arrived at the hospital around 9:00 pm, and the babies were operated on in rooms right across the hall from each other. Dr. Andrew Goldstone and Dr. Emilie Bacha and their surgical team removed Mia’s old heart, and it was brought to Brooklyn’s room, where Dr. Bacha assisted Dr. David Kalfa and his surgical team as they fixed Brooklyn’s heart.

Monkey Business – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

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