Five-year-old girl finally free of ventilator, doing 'things she never could'

A little girl can finally run freely without being chained to her ventilator thanks to a medical miracle. Brand new pictures show a five-year-old Peruvian girl untethered from her breathing machine after Chicago doctors performed a six-hour surgery last year.

This is the amazing moment a five-year-old girl who has spent her entire life tethered to a huge ventilator runs freely after undergoing surgery to help her breathe on her own. See SWNS story NYBREATHE; Diana Galleno suffers from congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), a rare condition affecting the autonomic nervous system which controls breathing. As a result the little girl has been attached to a bulky 15lb ventilator - a machine to help her breathe which resembles a vacuum cleaner - since she was a week old. Everywhere she went the device went too, and her parents Diana Belmont, 36, and dad Fernando Galleno, 38, were constantly chasing after her carrying it. But now, after a six-hour operation to insert a pacer help her breathe for herself, the little girl has finally been able to ditch the machine. Uplifting footage shows her grinning as she runs down the hallway of the hospital where she underwent the procedure with nothing holding her back. Her mom Diana, of Lima, Peru, said the surgery, which took place in Chicago, US, has allowed her daughter to “experience freedom for the first time”.

Little Diana was disconnected last month from the heavy ventilator that prevented her from running around.  (© Diana Belmont / SWNS.com)

Diana Galleno had not been able to breathe on her own since she was just one week old because she has congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS) – a rare disorder that impacts breathing. 

This is the amazing moment a five-year-old girl who has spent her entire life tethered to a huge ventilator runs freely after undergoing surgery to help her breathe on her own. See SWNS story NYBREATHE; Diana Galleno suffers from congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), a rare condition affecting the autonomic nervous system which controls breathing. As a result the little girl has been attached to a bulky 15lb ventilator - a machine to help her breathe which resembles a vacuum cleaner - since she was a week old. Everywhere she went the device went too, and her parents Diana Belmont, 36, and dad Fernando Galleno, 38, were constantly chasing after her carrying it. But now, after a six-hour operation to insert a pacer help her breathe for herself, the little girl has finally been able to ditch the machine. Uplifting footage shows her grinning as she runs down the hallway of the hospital where she underwent the procedure with nothing holding her back. Her mom Diana, of Lima, Peru, said the surgery, which took place in Chicago, US, has allowed her daughter to “experience freedom for the first time”.

Diana and her family flew from Lima to Chicago in October so surgeons at Lurie Children’s Hospital could insert a special pacer into the girl's chest.  (© Diana Belmont / SWNS.com)

Newly released video and pictures released by SWNS show Diana running around after doctors disconnected her in December from her 15 pound ventilator that has been attached to her for most of her life.

Diana underwent an operation in October 2017 to implant a phrenic nerve-diaphragm pacer in her chest, which would help her breathe without her ventilator. See SWNS story NYBREATHE; Diana Galleno suffers from congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), a rare condition affecting the autonomic nervous system which controls breathing. As a result the little girl has been attached to a bulky 15lb ventilator - a machine to help her breathe which resembles a vacuum cleaner - since she was a week old. Everywhere she went the device went too, and her parents Diana Belmont, 36, and dad Fernando Galleno, 38, were constantly chasing after her carrying it. But now, after a six-hour operation to insert a pacer help her breathe for herself, the little girl has finally been able to ditch the machine. Uplifting footage shows her grinning as she runs down the hallway of the hospital where she underwent the procedure with nothing holding her back. Her mom Diana, of Lima, Peru, said the surgery, which took place in Chicago, US, has allowed her daughter to “experience freedom for the first time”.

The girl's mother, also named Diana, says she is amazed to watch her do the things she never could.  (© Diana Belmont / SWNS.com)

DEVICE CAN DETECT 17 DISEASES BY OUR BREATH, STUDY SAYS

Diana, 5, pictured with her ventilator in 2016. See SWNS story NYBREATHE; Diana Galleno suffers from congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), a rare condition affecting the autonomic nervous system which controls breathing. As a result the little girl has been attached to a bulky 15lb ventilator - a machine to help her breathe which resembles a vacuum cleaner - since she was a week old. Everywhere she went the device went too, and her parents Diana Belmont, 36, and dad Fernando Galleno, 38, were constantly chasing after her carrying it. But now, after a six-hour operation to insert a pacer help her breathe for herself, the little girl has finally been able to ditch the machine. Uplifting footage shows her grinning as she runs down the hallway of the hospital where she underwent the procedure with nothing holding her back. Her mom Diana, of Lima, Peru, said the surgery, which took place in Chicago, US, has allowed her daughter to “experience freedom for the first time”.

Diana has congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), a rare disorder that impacts breathing.  (© Diana Belmont / SWNS.com)

“As a mom it’s amazing to watch her do the things she never could,” said her mother, also named Diana.

Baby Diana Galleno, 5, has lived on a ventilator since she was one-week-old. See SWNS story NYBREATHE; Diana Galleno suffers from congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), a rare condition affecting the autonomic nervous system which controls breathing. As a result the little girl has been attached to a bulky 15lb ventilator - a machine to help her breathe which resembles a vacuum cleaner - since she was a week old. Everywhere she went the device went too, and her parents Diana Belmont, 36, and dad Fernando Galleno, 38, were constantly chasing after her carrying it. But now, after a six-hour operation to insert a pacer help her breathe for herself, the little girl has finally been able to ditch the machine. Uplifting footage shows her grinning as she runs down the hallway of the hospital where she underwent the procedure with nothing holding her back. Her mom Diana, of Lima, Peru, said the surgery, which took place in Chicago, US, has allowed her daughter to “experience freedom for the first time”.

Diana was diagnosed when she was just a week old and permanently attached to a ventilator. Now, five years later, she is free from the 15-pound machine.  (© Diana Belmont / SWNS.com)

"We were always running after a little girl carrying this thing all the time, it was exhausting. We tried to keep everything normal for her," she said.

"If she wanted to go down the slide, we would help her to with the vent but, no matter how hard you tried, there were limitations to what she could do."

CAN FREQUENT MOVES CONTRIBUTE TO CHILDHOOD HOSPITALIZATIONS?

The Gallenos flew from Lima to Chicago in October so surgeons at Lurie Children’s Hospital could insert a special pacer into Diana's chest.

The device is able to send electric impulses to Diana's diaphragm and stimulate breathing. 

“To see the difference this procedure makes in the lives of children like Diana is what keeps us doing what we’re doing,” said Dr. Anthony Chin, Director of Surgical Critical Care.