Right Turn: Parents breathe sigh of relief after windpipe surgery success

Author: Stacey Johnson, 05/03/13

It was big news this week when doctors at Children’s Hospital of Illinois performed the first successful pediatric transplant in the U.S. of a regenerated trachea using a synthetic scaffold. The Canadian father and Korean mother of two-year-old Hannah Genevieve Warren are delighted that their daughter, born without a windpipe, now has one grown from her own stem cells. The little girl, who has spent her entire life in a hospital in Seoul, was predicted to die according to her doctors. She has been unable to breathe, eat, drink or swallow on her own, since birth. The scaffold was manufactured by Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology Inc. (HART), a subsidiary of Harvard Bioscience. The implant was grown in one of HART’s “InBreath” bioreactors.

Please click here to watch the 50-minute press conference about the surgery, which took place on April 9, 2013. You will hear from Hannah’s doctors and Hannah’s parents. A question and answer period begins at 30 minutes.

Our regular feature, Right Turn, showcases the “lighter” side of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Every Friday, we will bring you cartoons, photos, videos and other content that may be just as thought provoking as the written submissions that you are used to finding here, but they definitely won’t be blogs.

As always, we welcome your feedback and we also welcome suitable submissions. Be creative! Use the right (!) side of your brain. Make us laugh! Let’s see if we can make this new direction a positive one for all of us. Send your submission to info(at)ccrm.ca.


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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.
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