The Bingham Family’s Story
Stacy and Jason Bingham of North Powder, Oregon, have five wonderful children. Unfortunately, three of their children have faced life-threatening heart problems due to the disease dilated cardiomyopathy.
In dilated cardiomyopathy, the heart muscle is enlarged and stretched, causing the heart to become weak and pump inefficiently. As treatment, now-13-year-old Sierra Bingham was the recipient of a heart transplant at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in 2006. Then, in July 2012, 8-year-old sister Lindsey began her wait for a donor heart while being supported by the pioneering Berlin Heart bridge-to-transplant device. And on July 1, the same day Lindsey received her Berlin Heart device, 3-year-old brother Gage’s cardiomyopathy was treated through a surgically implanted pacemaker.
Then, on Valentine’s Day 2013, Lindsey received a donor heart for transplant, the 300th pediatric heart transplant at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. In the midst of the excitement surrounding Lindsey’s transplant and recovery, it was determined that sister Sierra’s donor heart was developing damage from antibodies known as antibody-mediated rejection. Sierra successfully underwent additional treatment and therapies to remove and block the antibodies, thus hoping to prevent and possibly reverse further damage to her heart.
The family’s extraordinarily unlikely and emotional medical journey also includes markers for dilated cardiomyopathy in the hearts of other siblings Megan, 11, and Hunter, 6. Gage is taking medication and seems to be doing well with his pacemaker. In the meantime, Megan and Hunter are undergoing close observation to determine how their hearts develop over time. The family was finally able to return home to Oregon on May 30, 2013.
You can watch the Bingham Family’s journey on Dateline NBC or read more on the Today Show website.