1. Main
  2. Learn
  3. Life
  4. Health

S. Korean toddler gets first windpipe transplant

©REUTERS/Karolinska University Hospital ©REUTERS/Karolinska University Hospital
An international team of surgeons has successfully given a South Korean-Canadian toddler a life-saving windpipe transplant made from plastic fibers and some of her own stem cells, AFP reports. Hannah Warren, 2, was born without a trachea and is now the youngest person to ever receive a bio-engineered organ, after an operation in the United States. She had spent her life in an intensive care unit in Seoul, with a feeding tube keeping her alive. Doctors had initially given her little chance of surviving. The nine-hour transplant was a life-saving surgery for the child, who was unable to breathe, speak, swallow, eat or drink on her own since birth. Because the procedure used stems cells from Warren's own bone marrow rather than a donor organ, her immune system is unlikely to reject the transplant. Doctors said she could return home and lead a normal life within months. "The most amazing thing, which for a little girl is a miracle, is that this transplant has not only saved her life, but it will eventually enable her to eat, drink and swallow, even talk, just like any other normal child," said lead surgeon Paolo Macchiarini of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. "She will go from being a virtual prisoner in a hospital bed to running around and playing with her sister and enjoying a normal life, which is a beautiful thing." Scientists hope the stem cell-based therapy will diminish reliance on human organ donors and the associated risks of immune system suppression. "We are crossing frontiers with these transplants," Macchiarini said in a statement. Hannah arrived at the Children's Hospital of Illinois in the US city of Peoria in March with a medical team, her Canadian father Darryl, mother Young-Mi and four-year-old sister Dana. The operation took place on April 9. "All we have ever wanted since Hannah was born was to be able to bring her home and be a regular family," Warren's father Darryl said. "Hannah has been through so much and defied the odds. She is our little miracle," he said. "Words cannot express our thanks to everyone who has helped make this dream a reality. We know one day soon we will get to make that trip home."

Nobel prizewinner proposes a new city in KZ
New abnormal snowfalls expected in Kazakhstan
Huge glacier retreat triggered in 1940s
Hyperloop construction begins in Las Vegas
"Moonlight" to top Spirit Awards nominations
Oil prices fall due to investors uncertainty
New dwarf galaxy discovered around Milky Way
Kanat Islam becomes a top ten WBO boxer
World oil prices continue to rise
Kazakhstan expects warming - Kazhydromet
Merkel to seek fourth term as chancellor
Sale of Tintin drawings set to break records
US, EU stocks fall as markets focus on dollar
Pacific leaders urged to defend free trade
EU warns eight nations on budget deficit
Universiade-2017: Athletic Village is ready
Bob Dylan can't make Nobel ceremony
Messi will never leave Barca - club president
Google, Facebook take aim at 'fake' news
Aerosmith announces Europe 'farewell' tour
Putin, Trump to normalise US-Russia ties
At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey blast
6.2 quake hits western Japan
OPEC agrees shock oil output cut
Israeli ex-president and Nobel laureate Peres dies
Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
32,000 arrested in Turkey coup probe
Youth to the fore as Milan fashion week opens
Xenophobia threatening peace in eastern Germany
Four-in-10 Japanese are virgins: poll
Sweden re-militarises Baltic island of Gotland
China to launch second space laboratory: Xinhua
More than a billion stars mapped in Milky Way: ESA
Boxing: Golovkin eyes Saunders after stopping Brook
Kazakhstan shifts PM to security chief
Oil prices gain despite rising OPEC supply forecast
US to give Philippines military planes
Singapore wages war on Zika-bearing mosquitoes
Italy quake death toll nears 250
Viral photos add fuel to French burkini debate
18 dead as Italy struck by powerful quake
Japan's first lady visits Pearl Harbor
Pokemon's a no-go on Bangkok's roads
July was Earth's hottest month in modern times
Pakistan rock climbers scale new heights