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Second heart operation for "Baby Jesse'

A 7-year-old boy who had a life-saving heart transplant as an infant has undergone the operation a second time.

The donor heart transplanted into Jesse Sepulveda when he was 16 days old had begun to fail a few weeks ago, KABC-TV reported.

Loma Linda University Medical Center declined to give details of Wednesday's surgery, citing a request for patient confidentiality.

The boy became known as "Baby Jesse" when he was at first rejected for a heart transplant after his birth in May 1986. He suffered from hypoplastic left-heart syndrome, a defect that is usually fatal.

Anti-abortion activists contacted the media, saying the decision not to operate was because the baby's parents were young and unmarried.

Loma Linda University hospital denied that, but agreed to accept Jesse as a transplant patient after the young parents turned over custody to the baby's grandparents.

A Michigan couple donated the heart of their brain-dead son to Jesse after hearing about him on television. The donation was announced on the Donahue television show while Jesse's parents were appearing as guests.

Jesse's parents later regained custody.

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