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Evansville girl becomes 1,000th ECMO patient at Riley Hospital

Evansville girl becomes 1,000th ECMO patient at Riley Hospital

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Evansville girl has become Riley Hospital’s 1,000th patient to receive a life-saving medical treatment.

Millie Modeset is three years old and she may not be the spunky and energetic little girl she is today without the assistance of an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation machine, or ECMO machine, at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis.

The machines help a patient’s heart and lungs work when they can’t function properly.

Millie is the 1,000th ECMO patient to be treated at Riley Hospital for Children, and she’s recovering so well that she has one message for doctors.

“Um, no more shots!” Millie said.

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Millie is so full of life and energy, it’s hard to keep up with her. But what’s giving her all of that energy is what’s in her chest.

“Yeah, that’s a side effect from giving her a new pacemaker and fixing her heart valve is more energy,” said Candra Modesitt, Millie’s mom.

While her mom may be exhausted from Millie’s extra energy, she said she’ll take that over the horrible reaction she saw with Millie’s last pacemaker update.

“After surgery, she became unresponsive in my arms,” Modesitt said. “They had to do CPR for 60 minutes.”

Doctors had no idea what was wrong with Millie, and had little time to save her. That’s where ECMO came in and bought the doctors time to figure out what had gone wrong.

“Found out her pacemaker lead had wrapped around her heart and strangled it,” Modesitt said. “At first I was worried. Nobody knew what had happened…I don’t think that will happen again. It’s just the going under anesthesia again and that’s where I’m going to be worried.”

Because of ECMO and months of medical attention, Millie’s heart is making the sounds it should make

“Bum bum!” Millie mimicked.

“Millie has been poked and prodded during her hospital stays,” pediatric cardiologist Mark Ayers M.D. said. “And as I mentioned, she’s a fighter, and she’s taken it in stride and thrived despite all of that.”

Millie’s going to live her life just like any other kid, but she’ll be back for frequent checkups, but she says no more to the poking and prodding.

“No more shots!” Millie shouted.

“Unfortunately we can’t guarantee she’s done with shots,” Ayers said. “But we can try to minimize it from here on out for her.”

Millie’s only the 1,000th ECMO patient at Riley Hospital for Children, but doctors say with the experience from Millie’s case and the 999 who came before her, they can help thousands of other kids going into the future.

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