3-D printing helps save boy's heart - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

3-D printing helps save boy's heart

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Doctors at Seattle Children's Heart Center were able to help save a Butte boy’s heart with the help of a 3-D printer. 3-year-old Bowen Warren was born with three different heart defects. "Gets me a little choked up looking at him some days but it definitely shows the road we've traveled and it was worth every price we paid," said Bowen’s mother Emily Warren.

Bowen was born with a hole in his heart, a narrow pulmonary valve and his two main arteries formed in opposite spots. "It was quite the journey. It was very emotionally challenging,” said Bowen’s father Joe Warren. Within the first 17-months of his life Bowen underwent two open heart surgeries. Bowen’s father said he never lost faith despite any feelings of uncertainty. He said he wondered, “Are they going to make it? Is this going to work? Things like that and you're hoping for the best." 

After the first surgery doctors took their thinking outside the box to determine the best procedure to fix Bowen's heart. They used 3-D imaging technology to make an enlarged replica of Bowen’s heart to practice on before performing the actual surgery. Bowen is now able to run around as a healthy and active 3-year-old. He will forever wear a scar on his chest as a reminder of the warrior he was born to be. His mother said, “When we heard the name Bowen and that it meant ‘little warrior and victorious one,’ we chose that name for him.  He certainly has proved to live up to it with all the battles that he has been through already.”    

Bowen's face and success story was chosen to be featured in advertisements for the Seattle Children's Heart Center. It will highlight how heart models made from 3-D printing can help doctors with heart surgery patients.

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