Toddler spared heart-lung transplant by doctors' discovery

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A second set of eyes helped a Tennessee toddler avoid a heart-lung transplant, and gave her a chance at a better life. (WPVI)

A second set of eyes helped a Tennessee toddler avoid a heart-lung transplant, and gave her a chance at a better life.

3-year-old Zoey Jones of Nashville was born with a severe defect that, over time, caused her heart and lungs to fail.

After a series of strokes, cardiac arrests, and a dozen operations, Doctors in Nashville thought she'd need the double transplant.

But doctors at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio found another route.

They discovered she was actually getting too much blood to her lungs, so they shut down part of the supply.

That helped, so they surgically re-directed some of that blood flow to permanently relieve the sky-high pressure in her arteries.

"Being able to help her in the way that we did, really, I think, altered the course of her life," said surgeon Dr. Darren Berman.

Zoey's mom says she's a new little girl.

"She has learned to walk by herself, and doctors told us she would never walk. And she's walking unassisted now," says Tori Goddard.

Zoey may need a follow-up procedure, but doctors say she should live a normal life with her own heart.
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