Russian doctors save girlís life with animalís valve



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11/07/05  Russian surgeons have saved life of a 24-year-old girl by, providing her with a unique transplant. Her only chance for survival: a renowned surgeon implanted a ground-breaking modified valve made from a pig s heart into the chest of 24 year-old Natalya Blagodatskikh, who had a rare and life-threatening heart defect. The valve, adapted by Russian surgeons, had never been used before. The operation was completed in three hours. Natalya s implant came from a farm outside of Moscow. Earlier, surgeons had to sort through hundreds of pigs and cows hearts to find one that could be used for a valve. As it was almost impossible to find the right donor for the new model, they found a tailor-made solution. Two weeks have passed, and Natalya Blagodatskikh is out of the emergency ward. Doctors say that Natalya would be completely healthy in six months and hope she would be the first of thousands to receive the life-saving transplant.