Today Show: Heart Transplant At Age Six?
When one of the Bingham family’s five children came to them with a stomachache one day, their lives were changed dramatically soon thereafter. In 2006, their eldest daughter, Sierra, was diagnosed with heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle is enlarged and stretched, making it inefficient at pumping blood. She underwent a heart transplant at age six just fine, and the family soon had everyone in the family tested for heart disease, just to play it safe. The tests all came back negative, and the family breathed a sigh of relief knowing that they received clean bills of health.
However, last summer, eight-year-old Lindsey got a similar stomacheache, and soon she was on her way to the hospital to be put on a heart pump while she, too, waited on a heart transplant. After eight months, a donor had thankfully been found for her, and she got her new heart on Valentine’s Day.
Today Show: Bingham Children May Need More Heart Transplants
The downside to this happy story is that not only do Sierra and Lindsay require a lifetime of expensive medication, the Binghams now have to come to terms with the possibility that their remaining children may end up needing similar treatments, as well. The youngest son, age four, already has a pacemaker in, and will likely need a heart transplant at one point.
For the moment, though, the family is celebrating the comparatively good fortune they have had so far. Some families never find that their child has dilated cardiomyopathy until it is too late.
If you want to see more about the Bingham family, you can catch Dateline June 5 on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern.