Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin recently performed the first-ever pediatric partial heart transplant in Texas and the third in the United States.

The 11-month-old patient, Elias Robinson-Rodriguez, is doing well, and Dell Children’s reported in a press release on Monday that his doctors are optimistic about him pulling through.

“We are thrilled with Elias’ progress and we are hopeful this will eliminate the need for future surgeries,” said Chesney Castleberry, M.D., in the release. Chesney is a board-certified pediatric cardiologist and medical director of the Pediatric Heart Failure and Transplant Program run by UT Health Austin and Dell Children’s.

Born with a congenital defect, the infant had already undergone two open-heart surgeries previously to correct the transposed position of the main arteries — the pulmonary artery and the aorta — of his heart.

Approximately 1 of every 3,413 babies born in the U.S. has this condition, estimated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The groundbreaking surgery on June 23 took 11 hours for the team from Dell Children’s Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease (CPCHD) and UT Health Austin to complete.

Unlike conventional heart transplants, a partial heart transplant employs valves from a donor heart deemed unsuitable for full transplantation. This living tissue was used to replace the malfunctioning valve of baby Elias’ heart that linked the lower left heart chamber to the aorta.

With the donor valve, blood flow to the rest of Elias’ body significantly improved. The living tissue should grow with him as he ages, greatly boosting his life expectancy.

“This groundbreaking surgery provides hope for thousands of babies with congenital heart defects and amplifies the way we can use the gift of organ donation to save more lives,” said Charles Fraser Jr, M.D., a board-certified surgeon and chief of pediatric and congenital heart surgery at Dell Children’s CPCHD.

According to the nonprofit Donate Life Texas, roughly 6,000 people in the U.S. die while waiting for an organ transplant each year.

Another major breakthrough in child surgery occurred in May when a team from Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital performed brain surgery on a 34-week-old fetus still inside the womb, as reported by The Dallas Express. It was the very first time that such a procedure had been conducted on an unborn child in the U.S.

In Fort Worth, Cook Children’s Medical Center performed yet another landmark pediatric surgery by separating conjoined twins in January. As The Dallas Express reported at the time, the 16-week-old girls had been sharing a liver, making it a highly complex procedure.