How a 3D Printed Heart Changed More Than One Life

The story of Harikrishnan “Hari” AM, a young man from India, shows the impact of donations from individuals like you. Supported by Children’s HeartLink’s work, he is now giving back to others with a similar medical condition.

“My heart defect didn’t allow me to enjoy a full childhood. After heart surgery, I feel different not only physically but also emotionally. I would like to share my story, my experience, my passion for technology and my voice to help other children and young adults enjoy their lives and fulfill their potential.”

Hari invents something in his room, 2018.

Hari was not a good candidate for heart surgery in his country because of the complexity of his heart condition. His heart kept him from going to high school and having the energy for outside activities. Hari found his passion in electronics and 3D printing  – hobbies with limited physical energy exerted that kept him inside.

Eventually, he met Dr. Mahesh Kappanayil, a cardiologist at Children’s HeartLink Center of Excellence Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. (AIMS) The team at AIMS was trained by our medical volunteers and created opportunities for advancements in pediatric cardiology and surgery.

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Dr. Mahesh and Hari, 2022

One of those advancements was the use of 3D technologies. Dr. Mahesh and his team used 3D printing to create a model of Hari’s heart!

It was the first time the hospital ever used this technology to map a patient’s heart. Using that 3D model, a cardiac team could see what areas of Hari’s heart needed fixing and could plan a surgery to make the corrections. Hari underwent surgery successfully!

Dr. Mahesh and Hari bonded over their shared interest in 3D printing. Today, Hari is a university student partnering with Dr. Mahesh to build 3D models of hearts for other children with congenital heart disease. “My heartfelt belief is that he will make great contributions to advancements in medicine,” says Dr. Mahesh about Hari.

Hari at the 3D lab

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Just this year, both Dr. Mahesh and Hari joined the Children’s HeartLink International Programs Committee, which provides support for the strategic planning of our program work and its future direction.

Imagine the future technology that Dr. Mahesh and Hari may discover together!

Donations from people like you, help us provide continued support to our partner hospitals in low- and middle-income countries. It helps children gain access to advanced cardiac care.

Please consider making your gift to Children’s HeartLink by June 30th, 2022, to support our next, fiscal-year budget.

SUPPORTING OUR WORK changes lives like Hari’s

Children’s HeartLink saves children’s lives by transforming pediatric heart care in underserved parts of the world. Founded in 1969, we currently support 18 partner hospitals in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and Vietnam. In 2021, our medical volunteers trained over 5,400 professionals and reached more than 122,000 children worldwide.