Designed for infants and kids, a premature stent is showing promising results

You would never realize it by examining Jake, but 4 years old Jake Schumacher was born with serious congenital heart defects.

When he was five months old, he underwent heart surgery to place an angioplasty stent.

“It was pretty hard, because I just kept thinking, ‘Why my son?'” his father, Craig Schumacher, said of learning of his son’s diagnosis.

Typically, surgeons are placing stents in children, and they use adult stents with a narrow diameter. That stent, however, must be replaced by open heart surgery as the children grow. The night before Jake was scheduled to get another stent, the surgeon’s office called his parents.

“They said, ‘There’s this new technology where there’s a stent that can grow with him,'” Jake’s mother, Yvette Honda-Schumacher, recalled.

It is named Minima stent, the very first designed for infants and children. It expands as the child develops, making another heart operation less likely.

A pediatric cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles where Jake had his stent placed as part of clinical trial called “game changing” and “really exciting.”

10 children have received four stents so far.

“At six months follow up, there were no issues with the stent that was deployed,” Markush said of the 10 patients. “There was 100% relief of the original narrowings, and there were no serious adverse events.”

Nine months after receiving his stent, Jake is doing Taekwondo, and is also planning to take up ice hockey.

With information from CBS News

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