Google Cardboard helped plot innovative surgery for baby with rare heart condition

Share this article with other mums

Their daughter’s original doctors told them to “make the best of our time with her and just prepare to say goodbye.”

Teegen Lexcen was born with half a heart and one lung. Her condition was so rare that the doctors at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami thought her case was hopeless.

However, one member of the team, Dr. Juan Carlos Muniz, came up with the idea to look at images of her heart in Google Cardboard where it would be seen in virtual reality.

Google Cardboard is a virtual reality (VR) platform developed by Google with a head mount for a smartphone.

It basically looks a huge goggles made out of cardboard where you stick an iPhone inside, which allows you to see images in 3D.

Google Cardboard Helped Plot Innovative Surgery For Baby With Rare Heart Condition

Named for its fold-out cardboard viewer, the platform is intended as a low-cost system to encourage interest and development in VR applications.

According to a Fox 2 News story, “Muniz gave the contraption to Dr. Redmond Burke, director of cardiovascular surgery at Nicklaus. Using the device, Burke could move around and see the heart from every angle—to almost be inside the heart, checking out its structure.”

Allowing doctors to map out the surgery, Google Cardboard helped Teegan undergo an innovative surgery in December.

CNN recently gave Teegan parents an opportunity to see the images of their daughter’s heart, which brought a plethora of emotions for Cassidy and Chad Lexcen.

“Holy cow! This is so cool!” Chad said as he looked through Google Cardboard in his living room. “It’s almost like a little video game.”

Cassidy, meanwhile, couldn’t believe the device looked like a toy. “You don’t picture doctors and surgeons looking through a piece of cardboard and some glasses to plan a major life saving surgery.”

Seeing the inside of their daughter’s heart made them appreciate the inventive surgery that saved their daughters life.

Find out more about Teegan’s condition on the next page

Baby Health Ages & Stages