A young girl who has spent her early years attached to a ventilator is finally able to breathe on her own after undergoing life-changing surgery.
According to koodakpress، Five-year-old Diana Galleno suffers from congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS) – a rare condition that affects the autonomic nervous system which controls breathing.
As a result, she has been tethered to a 15lb ventilator designed to help her breathe since she was just one week old.
However, after undergoing a life-changing six-hour operation to insert a pacer, Galleno can finally breathe for herself and no longer depends on the weighty machine.
Her mother, Diana, of Lima, Peru, said the surgery, which took place in Chicago, US, has allowed her daughter to “experience freedom for the first time” as footage shows her freely running down the hallway of the hospital.
“As a mum it’s amazing to watch her do the things she never could,” she said.
“We tried to keep everything normal for her.
“If she wanted to go down the slide, we would help her to with the vent but no matter how hard you try there were limitations to what she could do.
”We helped her change, helped her to the bathroom. If she wanted to move from one school desk to the other, she would need help.
“It came to the point where my husband and I decided that the surgery was the right thing for Diana, even though it was serious. It was time for her to move forward.”
The procedure, which was carried out at Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago, saw surgeons insert a phrenic nerve-diaphragm pacer into her chest – a device which sends electric impulses to the diaphragm, stimulating it to breathe.
“The children we operate on have very often been tethered to a ventilator for the entirety of their lives,” said Dr Anthony Chin, Director of Surgical Critical Care in Lucie Children’s Hospital.
“To see the difference this procedure makes in the lives of children like Diana is what keeps us doing what we’re doing.”
Since the procedure, Galleno has been able to breathe without her machine while life has also changed dramatically for the entire family.
Now, her mother says the little girl can do all things she never could before and that the operation has given her freedom for the first time in her life.
“When your child is sick you realise how even the smallest things, even the tiniest bit of progress, is so special,” she added.
“It has been such an emotional time for our family and we’re still adjusting to it all.”