New heart, new baby for Spanish transplant patient on same 'birthday'

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MADRID (Reuters) – Spaniard Antonio Salvador was with his wife as she went into labour when doctors told him they had a matching heart for a transplant he had been awaiting for years.

After a moment of doubt, he agreed. When the 39-year-old woke up from the surgery at Madrid’s Gregorio Maranon hospital that same day in mid-March, he had a healthy new heart, and a healthy baby boy.

“Samuel came carrying a heart for his father under his arm,” the hospital quoted Salvador’s wife, Ana, as saying of their baby.

The hospital said it had waited to ensure the patient had adapted well to the new heart and the baby was fine before announcing the successful transplant.

Heart surgeon Manuel Ruiz Fernandez said the transplant had saved Salvador’s life, as his condition, a hardening of the heart muscle known as hypertrophic heart disease, had been getting progressively worse: “He was born again on that day, and his son was born too. They will certainly remember that day.”

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