Chronic children organs shortage

A three-year-old boy has survived for a record eight months with an artificial heart the size of a chest freezer as he waited for a suitable heart donor. Joe Skerratt's case is being used to highlight a chronic shortage of organs for children.

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What is Barth Syndrome?

Joe in hospital
Joe Skerratt in hospital

Joe Skerratt spent a record 251 days plugged into an artificial heart after being diagnosed with Barth syndrome.

It is a rare genetic disorder, which mostly affects boys and can be fatal.

It is named after Dr Peter Barth, the Dutch paediatric neurologist who first comprehensively described it.

The main symptoms are: heart failure, weak immune system, muscle weakness/general fatigue and feeding problems/growth delay.