David Yi’s daughter Elena seemed fine. She was sprouting like a normal infant—every day gaining weight and a deeper curiosity about the world around her. Then one night when she was about five months old, Elena just collapsed. Yi and his wife rushed her to the hospital; she was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease in which the heart is literally too big to effectively circulate blood. Without treatment, her condition could be fatal.
That first morning in the hospital, David recalls being single-minded. “The only thing that went through my head was how can we make her survive the next day,” he said. He didn’t yet know how much he’d already done. In fact, it wasn’t until later that night that David—an NI engineer by trade—found out that the one thing that could save his daughter’s life was a device that he himself had helped develop.
In the third episode of Engineering Hope, a three-part video series, we’ll tell the story of how Yi managed his daughter’s devastating medical crisis and how an innovative product that he helped engineer turned out to be essential to the young girl’s recovery.