Childrens Giving and Growing Aug 2018

Jharad Faust laughs during a check-up with his pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Avichal Aggarwal.
Jharad Faust laughs during a check-up with his pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Avichal Aggarwal.
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Our Patients: Mississippi’s youngest heart recipient ‘looking better and better’ a year later

Published on Tuesday, August 14, 2018

By: Annie Oeth

Babies like Jharad Faust Jr. will be among patients benefiting from construction of the new children’s tower adjacent to Batson Children’s Hospital.

When he was just 3 months old, Jharad, of Meadville, made history by becoming the youngest heart transplant recipient at Batson.

More than a year after his transplant, Jharad is “looking better and better each time we see him,” said his cardiologist, Dr. Avichal Aggarwal, medical director of the pediatric heart transplant program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Jharad’s surgery was one of four pediatric heart transplants performed at Batson in 2017, a Children’s Heart Center record.

“When I came to Children’s of Mississippi (in early 2017), we had three children on the list for heart transplant, and then gained one more,” said Dr. Brian Kogon, chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Batson Children’s Hospital. “We performed all those surgeries last year.”

So far, in 2018, one additional pediatric heart transplant has been performed. “Currently, all of the children that have been on the heart transplant list have been transplanted and are doing well,” said Kogon.

Jharad was born Nov. 28, 2016, with a critical congenital heart defect, pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum. With this defect, very little blood flows into or out of the right ventricle, which doesn’t fully develop and remains very small.

A low heart rate and ashen color told physicians that
something was wrong.

Changes in Jharad’s EKGs prompted Kogon to place the baby on the United Network for Organ Sharing’s list for a heart

The match came on Feb. 27, 2017. Jharad got to come home to Meadville for the first time in June 2017.