9-year-old girl gets 6 new organs in transplant

Alannah Shevenell pictured with her grandmother, Debi Skolas three months after receiving six new organs in a groundbreaking operation. Photo / AP
Alannah Shevenell pictured with her grandmother, Debi Skolas three months after receiving six new organs in a groundbreaking operation. Photo / AP

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

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

The surgery was performed in Boston, Massachusetts last week at Children's Hospital, one of America'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 aggressive cancer that was compromising several of her internal organs," 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 Alannah's tumour 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.

- AFP

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