Martina was born with hydrocephalus. At 8 days old, a VP shunt was placed in her head to drain the fluid from her brain. Three years later, she was admitted to the pediatric ICU at Hospital Clínico Magallanes in Punta Arenas, Chile due to a blockage in the shunt. She suffered a brain stem lesion which prevented her from speaking and breathing on her own. She required ventilatory support from a mechanical ventilator and remained in the hospital for four years.

In April 2017, at the age of seven, she was implanted with the Avery Diaphragm Pacemaker.  Just two months post-surgery, she was breathing 10 hours a day with the pacemaker. Within four months, she was pacing 24/7 and moved back home. Today, she is enjoying all the freedoms that come with liberation from the mechanical ventilator. She enjoys going shopping with family and spending time at the park. Moreover, she is making progress in speech and physiotherapy.

Martina’s grandmother says, “I would like to express what the pacemaker means to Martina and to us, her family. It is a hope for life, a chance to be home and do normal activities. She gained independence— we go everywhere with her. For us, the pacemaker has been a lifesaver. It has given us peace.”

See below for more pictures of Martina enjoying her freedom!






Source: ABD-PP-010, Rev B 07/2021


The Avery Breathing Pacemaker is the only diaphragm pacing system to have full premarket approval (PMA) from the US FDA and CE Marking privileges under the European Active Implantable Medical Device Directive for adult and pediatric use.

In addition, using small implanted radiofrequency receivers rather than electrode wires that pass directly through the skin may decrease a patient’s risk of infection and ongoing wound care management issues.

Avery has been commercially distributing breathing pacemakers since the early 1970’s. Since then, more than 2,000 patients have been implanted in over 40 countries establishing an unsurpassed record of safety and reliability. Due to its high reliability and cost effectiveness, the Avery pacers are reimbursed by Medicare and most private and government insurance around the world.
To learn more about the benefits of the Avery pacers for those with a high spinal cord injury, central sleep apnea or diaphragm paralysis, please contact us by mail, phone or through our website.