Transplant patient, Hannah Warren, died over the weekend from complications.
Transplant patient, 2-year-old Hannah Warren, known for undergoing a groundbreaking trachea transplant operation – which made her the youngest patient to ever receive an artificial windpipe – died Saturday from medical complications.
The brave little transplant patient underwent her medical history-making FDA approved operation in April 2013. However, despite all efforts to treat the child, Hannah was unable to overcome the health issues that progressed thereafter, according to ABC News.
Hannah was born with tracheal agenesis, a rare birth defect; effecting, on average, less than 1 in 50,000 and is fatal in 99 percent of cases. There are three main types of tracheal agenesis, designated Types I, II and III.
The congenital anomaly means Hannah was born without a trachea, as it failed to develop. After birth, Hannah spent her time in a neonatal intensive care unit in a hospital in Seoul, South Korea, unable to breathe, swallow, eat or drink on her own.
Doctors felt, with surgical intervention, Hannah’s life would be better. Thus, she would become the youngest transplant patient to receive a bioengineered trachea. It was only the sixth surgery of its kind and the first to be performed in the United States, according to the New York Times.
Surgeons at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois implanted a windpipe made of nanofiber mesh coated with toddler’s own bone marrow (stem cells) during a nine-hour operation. The tissue-engineered medical marvel allowed the child to try her first lollipop.
The initial operation also involved surgery on the girl’s esophagus, which never healed properly. She underwent another operation a month ago to correct the problem and died from complications arising from the second operation, according to Dr. Mark J. Holterman, a pediatric surgeon at the hospital.
The adorable, pigtailed transplant patient, Hannah Warren, would have turned 3 in August.
[Image via Shutterstock]