Mason Thomas was six when he received a new heart at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. He asked to see his damaged one but it was discarded after the surgery.
To help the now eight-year-old understand why he needed a new ticker, experts printed two 3D models of the organ from his CT scans.
One model of the red muscle and its pumps was put inside a tiny TIE Fighter for the young Star Wars fan. The fictional space-flying vehicle is used by the Galactic Empire to fight the rebel force in the popular movie franchise.
“It’s amazing,” Mason said when he was given the models Wednesday.
“They show why my old heart couldn’t work and why I needed a new one.”
Mason Thomas and his mom look over a 3D model of Mason’s heart in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday September 11, 2019.
Mason was born with hypoplastic left-heart syndrome, a rare congenital defect. His heart failed after a second surgery and he was on a transplant wait list for more than three years.
Dr. Charles Larson with the hospital’s pediatric cardiac intensive care unit came up with the idea for the 3D models.
“This is an anatomically accurate representation of Mason’s heart, with colours to help him understand how the blood and oxygen were flowing, and which parts of his heart were too small and failing,” he said in a statement.