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Excellent Outcomes, More Tomorrows

Children with a heart transplant can, and do, grow up, go to school and enjoy active lives. Especially when they have expert care and support before, during and after transplant surgery.

Heart surgeons at the Nemours Cardiac Center in Wilmington, Del., performed the very first pediatric heart transplant in the state in 2005. Since then, under the leadership of world-renowned heart surgeon, Christian Pizarro, MD, we’ve built a recognized, comprehensive heart transplant program focused on the needs of your child and family.

We guide you through the process. And we prepare you physically, emotionally and mentally for the best possible outcomes.

Our team is your source for support, hope and inspiration. We work to give your child the best chance to live, and to run, play, dance and soar to their highest ability. 

Find Heart Transplant Care at Nemours

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“A Second Chance at Life”

Eric came to us at 3 months old with an enlarged heart. See how he’s dancing and growing strong after his heart transplant. 

If your child needs a heart transplant, you have questions. Find answers from Nemours experts at
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“When I saw him a few hours later, he was pink, not gray as he had been. His hands were warm. It was like life had been breathed into him.”
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The Very Best in Transplant Care

When a child has end-stage heart disease or heart failure that can’t be treated by surgery or medicines, a heart transplant may be the answer. 

Nemours gives your child the highest level of care along the way. We also provide services beyond the hospital. These may include:

  • extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a life-saving support that mechanically performs heart and lung function 
  • ventricular assist devices (VAD) that that take over the work of damaged parts of the heart until a heart transplant can happen
  • heart transplant surgery to replace a sick heart with a healthy one from a donor
  • complete transplant support including help with waiting lists, preparing for surgery, financial support, community resources, support groups, school services and more
  • post-transplant medical care such as expert long-term medical and neurodevelopmental follow-up after transplant and transition to adult health care when it’s time

Heart Transplant Expertise You Can Trust

The Nemours Cardiac Center, Delaware is internationally recognized. Our surgeons perform the most complex surgeries on the tiniest hearts. We know when a transplant is needed and can begin the process quickly. We’re here from the very start.

  • We’re actively researching pediatric heart failure and heart transplantation. Our team is involved in important cardiac research and clinical trials. We’re part of multicenter registries and use this information to improve pediatric heart failure care. 
  • We offer the highest level of pediatric cardiac intensive care (CICU). Our CICUs are supported by highly skilled intensivists with specialty training in cardiology, heart surgery, anesthesiology, newborn care, pulmonology (lung care) and more. We have the latest, most advanced life-saving equipment and 24/7, one-to-one bedside nursing care. 
  • We provide complete, convenient post-transplant care. Being part of a renowned pediatric heart center means you have access to experts in many services. Your child gets everything they need, from catheterization to rehabilitation, to follow-up tests, all in one place. We also offer many outpatient services at locations that may be closer to home. 
  • We take care of everything. Our coordinators walk you through the whole process and our team helps you find strength throughout the journey. We help you make appointments, prepare for transplant, cope as a family, participate in our onsite school, play with the Child Life team and more. You’re never alone at Nemours. 
  • 26 Heart transplants in last 10 years
  • 300+ Heart surgeries in Cardiac Center last year
  • 30,000+ Children cared for by our Nemours cardiology division each year
  • 39 Heart specialists on our cardiology team from Delaware to Florida

Advanced Care Facilities

The Nemours Cardiac Center has state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. From our operating rooms and labs, to our private rooms and amenities, you get quality care at a hospital just for kids. Take a virtual tour of Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware.

A Home Away From Home for Traveling Families

If you’re coming in from out of town, your family has access to a Ronald McDonald House located right across from our campus. This can help make your visit more convenient and affordable.

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Young boy who uses a wheelchair is hugged by his mom outside