Unfortunately, surgery is not a cure. An estimated half of all children who survive the Fontan operation will have heart failure by adulthood and all Fontan patients are expected to eventually fail at some point in their lifetime. The only treatment option for these patients is a heart transplant. Heart transplants are lifesaving, but exchange one set of complications for another set. They are incredibly risky, require intense medical management, and require patients to live in a weakened immune state due to the required anti-rejection medications.
There needs to be another treatment option for patients born with a single ventricle heart defect. For the last 15 years, Dr. Mark Rodefeld, a pediatric heart surgeon at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, IN, has been working to develop a Fontan blood pump. His research aims to place a small pump in the hearts of Fontan patients to emulate a normal two ventricle circulation, halt the progression of Fontan disease, and reduce the need for heart transplant.
Dr. Rodefeld’s research has in the past been supported by two National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, the Children’s Heart Foundation, and private philanthropic donors. However, there are many times in a researcher’s career when they are faced with funding gaps. This is one of those times for Dr. Rodefeld, which is why we are turning to you to help move this promising research forward. Dr. Rodefeld has assembled a team of engineers and medical device manufacturers to design and prototype this device. There is only one barrier holding back his prototype from being made – funding.
Any contribution will help make this potentially life-saving concept a reality!
WHERE THE FUNDING WILL GO...
1. Fund a website to promote the Fontan blood pump, a potentially groundbreaking medical breakthrough for single ventricle patients. $1,500-2,500.
2. Fund a documentary to explain Dr. Rodefeld’s research and to tell the story on why this could be so important to thousands of single ventricle patients. $7,000.
3. Contribute to Fontan blood pump development through the Cavopulmonary Assist for Single Ventricle Heart Disease Research Fund at IU Foundation. Prototype completion $350,000.
This campaign is an independent initiative led by a group of patients and families affected by single ventricle and congenital heart disease who wish to support advancing cures for single ventricle heart disease and Fontan failure. Please direct any inquires to [email redacted].