GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The effort that went into saving 11-year-old Trent Ahlefeld of Greenville was pure science fiction just a few years ago.
Virtual reality and 3D printing are not just innovations exciting techno geeks; they’re saving lives in Grand Rapids.
Trent was born with a bad heart. Instead of four chambers, it effectively had two. His heart was also backwards and on the wrong side of his chest, and it had a gaping hole.
Starting as a newborn, Trent had undergone numerous surgeries and his parents consulted experts nationwide. He needed a new heart and lung, but the possibility of a transplant was slim.
“At that point, they had only given him a year to live and it would take them two years to get the organs we need and he wouldn’t survive it,” said Megan Thompson, Trent’s mother.