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May 05 2013

SSA Blogathon – Marvelous Medicine

There are often some rather impressive things in medicine. For too long medicine has stagnated in achievement mainly because the new stuff that medicine needs to achieve is “hard”.

Hannah Warren is a Korean toddler. She was born with tracheal agenesis which is a rare and normally fatal birth defect. For 2½ years she lived without a windpipe. She was unable to breathe, swallow, eat or drink unaided and lived in a neonatal intensive care unit in Seoul.

She underwent a nine-hour marathon surgery to implant a windpipe made of nanofiber mesh coated with her own bone marrow cells. The result? A toddler got to have her first lollipop.

“All we have ever wanted since Hannah was born was to be able to bring her home and be a regular family,” Hannah’s father, Darryl Warren, said in a statement from the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, where an international team of doctors took on Hannah’s unusual case.

Hannah is the youngest child to receive a tissue-engineered trachea devoid of any donor cells. The transplant crosses frontiers by eliminating the need for a human donor and anti-rejection therapy via immuno-suppressant drugs.

Eventually this girl will eat, drink and swallow and even talk. She will cease to be a prisoner in her bed and lead a normal life like any other child.

Pretty neat heh?

I am blogging as part of the Secular Student Alliance’s blogathon. I am trying to aim for a blog post every so often unlike the shambolic haphazard events of Tuesday. In addition? I am accepting “requests”.

The link to the hangout is here. But the blogathon proper should start in around 2 Hours and continue at a more sedate and sane pace. (New Link! The old one crashed! Tiga’s there too so come say hello!)

If you wish to donate to the Secular Student Alliance then the link is here. And yes, you can suggest forfeits.

2 comments

  1. 1
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    My husband’s colleague has a daughter with a severe heart defect.
    Nobody can give them a prognosis of what’s going to happen to that girl, how long she’s going to live.
    That’s because she’s the first child ever to live that long.
    Frightening, and impressive, and hopeful.

  2. 2
    alexander

    Hi, I’ve been recently a lurker about your blog for some months. I love this article as well as your entire website! Looking forward to looking at more!

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