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

Surrogate offers clues into man with 16 babies

1 hour ago

When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple that wanted a child but couldn't conceive.

Nurses go on strike in Ebola-hit Liberia

1 hour ago

Nurses at Liberia's largest hospital went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against a deadly Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in the west African nation.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Aug 31, 2014

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

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.
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%".
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.