Stem cells grow new windpipe for 2-year-old girl facing death
By Cheryl K. Chumley
The Washington Times
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Experimental stem-cell treatment has been credited with saving the life of a 2-year-old girl who was born without a windpipe.
The Associated Press reported that the treatment involved extracting cells from the girl's own hip bone marrow. The cells were then seeded on a plastic base, and left for a week to multiply and grow. They grew into a windpipe, which was subsequently implanted on the girl, Hannah Warren, in a nine-hour surgery on April 9, AP reported.
Until her operation, the girl — who was born in South Korea in 2010 — had not been able to breathe or eat without medical assistance. She had spent her entire life in a Seoul hospital, awaiting death — until being transported to the United States for the experimental treatment.
Early prognosis is positive.
Doctors said Tuesday she will likely be able to lead a normal life, AP reported.
"We feel like she's reborn," said her father, Darryl Warren, in the AP report. "They hope that she can do everything that a normal child can do, but it's going to take time. This is a brand new road that all of us are on. This is her only chance, but she's got a fantastic one and an unbelievable one."
The surgery was performed at Children's Hospital of Illinois. The girl is the youngest patient to ever receive the treatment, doctors said, in the AP report.