Miami Doctors Use Cardboard Virtual Reality Tech To Save Baby’s Life

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A baby girl is her parents’ gift this holiday, for more reason than one.

Four-month-old Teegan Lexcen was facing a grim prognosis. She was born with only one lung and half a heart.

Doctors in Minnesota, where the family lives, said there was nothing they could do.

“The family was given the worst prognosis and told she was inoperable,” said Dr. Redomond Burke, a cardiovascular surgeon at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. “That’s a word we hate here.”

The family found doctors in Miami willing to try something new.

The pediatric surgeons at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital took computer scans of Teegan’s heart and lung and uploaded the images to a smartphone. They were then able to look at 3D images of her tiny heart and lung using Google Cardboard.

“The old VR images we used to get were just too grainy not specific enough for the fine detail you need to do open heart surgery on a baby,” said Burke.

With the clear images in hand, they then performed a seven-hour lifesaving operation.

“Finding out after the fact that that helped save her life, that’s phenomenal,” said Teegan’s mother, Cassidy Lexcen.

Little Teegan is now recovering with her parents, her twin sister Riley and the cardboard tech by her side.

“Being innovative seems to be the goal of this hospital and these doctors and innovation saved our daughter’s life,” said Lexcen.

You don’t have to be a doctor to use Google Cardboard. Google sells the box for about $20 and the app is free. In an age of skyrocketing medical costs that’s a pretty good deal.

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