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The problem

As of right now, the procedure in getting a 3D printed heart is both convoluted and extremely expensive; although innovative and often successful. Not having access to the revolutionary software, nor the training required, means that Surgeons have to outsource the entire process, making it extremely expensive and long winded.

Currently, the facility that convert these scanned blueprints into identical model hearts, are based in Belgium. This means that doctors are required to send details over to this specialist company, to get the heart printed. 

This costs £1,500 per case, and normally takes at least 15 days from fruition to delivery, all based on how well communication is organised and that there are no issues with shipping or transit.

Not only that, but the surgeon will only receive one replica per scan, meaning that extreme care must be taken when working with them, making some of the benefits of having the printed heart in the first place are rendered obsolete.

"We felt numb when they said Chloe had a problem with her heart, all we wanted to do was to cuddle and protect her. The doctors showed us this little plastic heart, it was Chloe's, with grooves and bits sticking out and they told us exactly which bits needed fixing. It was a scary process, especially the waiting but it was worth it when we took her home. With the doctor’s care and our love, Chloe has a chance of living a normal life."

The solution

To combat these issues of inefficiency and running cost, Wessex Heartbeat plan on funding the UK's first specialist 3D cardiac software to be situated at the Wessex Cardiac Centre in Southampton General Hospital.

The cutting edge, specialist software and training will cost £120,000 in total.

We have already received grants from multiple trusts totalling nearly £30,000.

The number of newborns diagnosed with congenital heart defects continues to rise (at least 1 in 180 births) and today 12 babies will be diagnosed with a heart defect. On occasions these babies are not operated on, as some surgeries are deemed too risky. Your help in contributing to the cost of a 3D printer will give our surgeons a clearer picture of the defects and as a result, significantly improve every aspect of cardiac care for these children and their families.

You can be the difference, give now to secure this life saving and life changing piece of equipment.

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We are also looking for major external funders to support this appeal, so if you are interested in contributing to this ground breaking project, please contact us on 023 8070 6095 or email [email protected]