Simple Viral Infection Put Teenager on Transplant List

A simple viral infection has put Karele Galaise-Seguin on a waiting list for a new heart. For the past 17 days she has been hooked up to a heart-lung machine at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, awaiting a transplant, The Canadian Press reported.

Karele, 16, was taken to a hospital near her home in Granby, Canada, when she continued to have gastro-intestinal problems for several days in a row.

It turned out the teenager has myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, which has left the muscle unable to pump blood, according to the newspaper.

Usually the inflammation will go down by itself, but that did not happen in Karele’s case, and there is no cure for this condition.

"It is something I would not have dreamed of," said Karele’s father, Robert Seguin. "The same virus that can give you a runny nose can attack the heart."

Karele’s doctor, Pramod Puligandla, said the majority of patients who have had the same virus usually get better in a few days. "This is just an exceptional case where a virus can produce something as severe as Karele has."

Click here to read the full story from The Canadian Press and to see a photo of Karele.