Artificial heart procedure fails to save girl's life

July 2, 2013 at 3:00 PM

PHILADLEPHIA, Pa., July 2 (UPI) -- A girl born in China with a severely damaged heart died at a Philadelphia hospital after an attempt to give her an artificial heart failed.

Teresa Bartlinski, 6, who had been adopted by a Catonsville, Md., family, received a heart transplant last month at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, The Baltimore Sun reported. The transplant failed and doctors attempted to install an artificial heart that would be in place until another donor heart became available.

Ed Bartlinski, her father, said doctors were unable to attach the heart valves to Teresa's veins. She suffered from hypoplastic left heart syndrome, in which the left side of the heart fails to develop.

Teresa was found abandoned as a baby west of Beijing. The Bartlinskis adopted her from Half the Sky, a U.S.-run orphanage in China.

"God gave her to us for three years. We're all on loan from God," Ed Bartlinski said.

The family, devout Catholics, had asked members of their parish and others to pray for Teresa. The Bartlinskis have four biological children and have adopted five Chinese girls, all with special needs.

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