A Whole New Person


“I never thought I would be able to ride dirt bikes or BMX again,” says 22-year-old Casey Child, who came in to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center thinking he had the flu. “I was diagnosed with giant cell myocarditis, which is a rare autoimmune disease. I was on the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine for one week, then I had left and right ventricular assist devices put in. I think that my case was the first time at UCLA Health that they sent someone home with two VADs. The VAD coordinators taught us everything we needed to know and the care was amazing. It was four months from when I first got sick to when I got my heart transplant. Everything leading up to the transplant was is pretty rough, but after the heart transplant, it’s amazing. You feel completely better. I went home nine days after my transplant surgery, and now I’m back to riding dirt bikes. I feel like a whole new person.”