US girl, 9, gets six-organ transplant

A nine-year-old girl is making what doctors described as a remarkable recovery Sunday, days after surgeons transplanted six of her organs in a groundbreaking medical procedure.

The surgery performed last Tuesday on young Alannah Shevenell, sought to remove an aggressive cancerous growth festering since 2008, and that had attacked her stomach, liver, pancreas, esophagus, and spleen.

The surgery was performed in Boston, Massachusetts at Children's Hospital, one of this nation's most highly regarded medical facilities.

"For just under 100 days Alannah and her grandmother have been staying at Children's while she received treatment for a rare and that was compromising several of her ," the hospital said in a statement.

"When all other treatments had failed, Heung Bae Kim, MD, director of Children's Pediatric Transplant Center suggested a multivisceral transplant that would remove Alannahs tumor and replace the six organs that had been damaged by its presence.

The nine-year old, who hails from the northeastern state of Maine, was the lucky recipient of organs from a recently deceased child of the same size and blood type, and which were able to be transplanted at the same time.

Kim told the Boston Globe newspaper that they anticipate that Alannah will make a complete recovery.

"She will not have real restrictions in terms of activity," he told the Globe.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Maine girl bouncing back after 6-organ transplant

Feb 02, 2012

(AP) -- A 9-year-old Maine girl is home from a Boston hospital healthy, active and with high hopes - and a new stomach, liver, spleen, small intestine, pancreas, and part of an esophagus to replace the ones ...

Rare 'domino' transplant preformed

Oct 03, 2006

U.S. transplant surgeons have performed a "domino" transplant procedure to save two patients suffering a life-threatening liver condition.

Sweden hospital in lab-made windpipe transplant

Jul 07, 2011

A 36-year-old man who had tracheal cancer has received a new lab-made windpipe seeded with his own stem cells in a procedure in Sweden they call the first successful attempt of its kind, officials said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Non-stop PET/CT scan provides accurate images

1 hour ago

Siemens is improving PET/CT imaging and data quality while reducing radiation exposure. The Biograph mCT Flow PET/CT scanner is a new positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) system that, ...

Experts: Chopin's heart shows signs of TB

23 hours ago

The preserved heart of composer Frederic Chopin contains signs of tuberculosis and possibly some other lung disease, medical experts said Wednesday.

The argument in favor of doping

Sep 17, 2014

Ahead of Friday's court ruling on whether ASADA's investigation into the Essendon Football Club was lawful, world leader in practical and medical ethics Professor Julian Savulescu, looks at whether there is a role for performance-enhancing ...

Errata frequently seen in medical literature

Sep 16, 2014

(HealthDay)—Errata, including those that may materially change the interpretation of data, are frequent in medical publications, according to a study published in the August issue of The American Journal of ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gopher65
not rated yet Feb 05, 2012
The article says "complete recovery", but don't organ transplantees usually live less than 10 years after the transplant? The combination of immunosuppressants and the necessary damage caused by the surgery itself shortens their lifespan significantly.

When you're 55-65 years old the fact that you have less than 10 years left is a lot less of a concern than it is when you're 9.

So "complete recovery" seems like a bit a of a stretch. More like "this child will have a chance to live some of the life they would have otherwise been denied".

This procedure was a technical triumph, and this line of experimental surgery (and the research that made it possible) should be expanded upon, but lets not go overboard and claim that she's just as good as she would have been if she'd never had cancer. Exaggeration won't win you any journalism awards.
tadchem
not rated yet Feb 06, 2012
"...don't organ transplantees usually live less than 10 years after the transplant?"
That depends on several factors, including the specific organ, the age of the patient, the quality of the donor match, the protocols used by the transplant team, etc.
One recent UK report claims "the 15 year survival estimate of the 649 paediatric recipients in the liver dataset is 82%".
http://www.uktran...8ZF9-5vw
Callippo
not rated yet Feb 06, 2012
The probability of acceptation multiplies with number of organs transferred. It would be a miracle if she survives it. The main positive factor is, she is a youngster, so she hasn't immune system fully developed yet.