Boy leaves hospital after getting new heart

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SAN DIEGO -- An 11-year-old boy who became the first youngster to undergo a pediatric heart transplant operation in San Diego was discharged from Rady Children's Hospital Tuesday following a 12-day stay.

Eric Montano should be able to go back to school in a few months and even resume playing sports in the summer, Dr. Rakesh Singh said.

Eric suffered from restrictive cardiomyopathy, which stiffened the walls of his heart and kept the organ from filing with blood properly.

He had to wait from August until last week for a donor heart to become available, and his twin brother has the same condition and is waiting for his own transplant, according to the hospital.

The boy endeared himself to San Diegans at a news conference last week when he tearfully told doctors, “Thank you for my new heart.''

Pediatric transplant patients previously had to travel to Los Angeles or San Francisco to undergo the procedure.

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