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CHKD surgery gives man the gift of deep breaths

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CHKD surgery gives man the gift of deep breaths

Cole was born with a chest deformity that caused his breastbone to press down on his lungs and heart. He'd been through three surgeries - at 5, 15 and 20 - to fix the bone, called the sternum, but he always returned to a life of fatigue, a chest that was sunken and such thin tissue across it that people could literally see his heart beat under his skin.

The fix: a CHKD surgeon coming up with a new idea; biomedical engineers turning the idea into a customized device through 3-D imaging; and an operation Tuesday that took seven hours, 70 screws and a new rib cage crafted from titanium. 

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