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University of Minnesota Foundation
Giving to medicine and health at the University of Minnesota

'A place in her heart'

The tiny Amplatzer® Septal Occluder repaired Bridget's heart defect.

For toddler Bridget Cisneros, an innovation by Kurt Amplatz, M.D., has meant the difference between a risky open-heart surgery and a relatively quick procedure.

Bridget was born with an atrial septal defect, a hole between the upper two chambers of her heart.At one hospital, her family was told that open-heart surgery was Bridget’s only viable option. But thanks to one of Amplatz’s inventions and his longtime colleague John Bass, M.D., the gap was sealed in about an hour at the Univerity by installing the Amplatzer® Septal Occluder through a catheter into Bridget’s heart.

“It was just amazing that he was able to use the device to correct her heart defect without open-heart surgery,” mom Maureen Ramirez says. And when relatives visited Bridget in the hospital later that day, Ramirez says they were stunned that she was already ready to play.

A year later, as the family celebrates Bridget’s second birthday, Ramirez can’t say enough about the difference the University’s physician-researchers have made in her daughter’s life.

“She literally has a place in her heart for the University,” Ramirez says. “It’s titanium and nickel.”

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