A young Peruvian girl, Diana Galleno, has needed a a ventilator ever since she was one-week old, until a team of doctors changed her life forever.
Diana suffered from congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS) – a rare disorder that impacts breathing.
Having this disorder meant that Diana had to be connected to a 15 pound ventilator at all times. Throughout the first five years of her life, Diana was held back from doing everything a five-year-old should be able to do. Simple things such as running around or playing at a park would become a very difficult process, in which she needed help for.
"We were always running after a little girl carrying this thing all the time, it was exhausting. We tried to keep everything normal for her," Diana's mother said. "If she wanted to go down the slide, we would help her to with the vent but, no matter how hard you tried, there were limitations to what she could do."
In October 2017, the Galleno family traveled from Lima, Peru to Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital, so surgeons could insert a pacer into Diana's chest.
This unique device is able to send electric impulses to Diana's diaphragm to stimulate breathing.
After two months of having the new pacemaker, doctors disconnected Diana from her ventilator in December. A video surfaced from SWNS showing Diana running for the first time, without being connected to her ventilator.
“To see the difference this procedure makes in the lives of children like Diana is what keeps us doing what we’re doing,” said Dr. Anthony Chin, Director of Surgical Critical Care.
Diana is now able to have a childhood her parents never thought she would have the chance to experience. She can now run and play without having to worry.