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Interesting, Inspiring and Intriguing Links from Around the Globe


World's first artificial heart transplant patient 'feeding himself' and 'talking with family'

Mirror News, 29 Dec, 2013

A French pensioner is recovering well more than a week after becoming the first person to be fitted with an artificial heart, his doctor has said. The 75-year-old Frenchman is feeding himself and chatting to his family following the ground-breaking surgery in a Paris hospital on December 18. Professor Daniel Duveau told Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper: "He is awake, feeding himself and talking with his family. We are thinking of getting him up on his feet soon, probably as early as this weekend." He added that the patient was very combative and confident with his new prosthetic heart. "When his wife and his daughter leave him, he tells them: 'See you tomorrow!' All he wants is to enjoy life. He can't wait to get out of the intensive care unit, out of his room, and out of uncertainty." Read more →


Lung op gives father dream Christmas with daughter

Irish Independent, 27 Dec, 2013

IT WAS a first Christmas of sorts for cystic fibrosis patient Paul Wynne, who was given the best gift of all this year—a set of lungs. A year ago the 29-year-old father of one's chances of surviving the chronic lung disease long enough to see his baby daughter Ella open her presents weren't promising. But thanks to an organ donor, the Co Meath man underwent a double lung transplant and he is no longer struggling to breathe. Paul told the Irish Independent: "This is my first Christmas that I can function normally and not have to worry about getting out of the chair. It's the first time I could put up the Christmas lights and do normal things around the house." Read more →


Guinness World Record for heart transplant patient

BBC News, 24 Dec, 2014

A British man has entered the record books as the world's longest-surviving heart transplant patient. John McCafferty, 71, has surpassed the previous Guinness World Record of 30 years, 11 months and 10 days set by an American man who died in 2009. Mr McCafferty was told he had five years to live when he underwent the life-saving operation at Harefield Hospital in Middlesex 31 years ago. He says his record should give hope to others awaiting transplants. Read more →


The heart of it all: Nurse says don't ignore signs of the deadly disease

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 30 Dec, 2013

Heart failure, according to the American Heart Association, affects 5.7 million Americans and causes more than 55,000 deaths in the United States each year. Not only was Karen Wright privy to those numbers, she could very easily put a face on a great many of them. For at least half of her life, Wright had helped care for both men and women suffering from some form of heart disease. She could list the symptoms as quickly as she could name her daughters' favorite foods. And yet for years, when it came to her own health, the Fairburn, GA, single mom and nurse practitioner ignored her doctors and the warning signs: Shortness of breath and fatigue. Read more →

Hands, faces to be 'organs' in transplant world

Philly.com, 30 Dec, 2013

Sure your liver or kidney could save someone's life. But would you donate your hands, or your face? Signing up to become an organ donor may get more complicated than just checking a box on your driver's license. The government is preparing to regulate the new field of hand and face transplants like it does standard organ transplants, giving more Americans who are disabled or disfigured by injury, illness, or combat a chance at this radical kind of reconstruction. Among the first challenges is deciding how people should consent to donate these very visible body parts that could improve someone's quality of life - without deterring them from traditional donation of hearts, lungs, and other internal organs needed to save lives. Read more →

Transplant creates 'new family' - Heart recipient meets donor's mother

Muskogee Phoenix, 28 Dec, 2013

Louise Tibbs wasted little time crossing the room to throw her arms around Jim Murrell on Saturday afternoon. With tears in her eyes and her head buried in his chest, she seemed to be speaking to two people when she addressed Murrell. "I'm so glad to finally hug you," she said. Murrell, who hails from Munford, Alabama, is the recipient of a heart donated by Tibbs' son, Richard "Dickie" Lowe, 50, who was killed while walking down U.S. 69 in May. Read more →

Local Man First Cancer Survivor, Heart-Transplant Recipient To Complete Ironman Triathlon

CBS Philly, 27 Dec, 2013

It's been a quite a year for a Harleysville man, as he became the first cancer survivor and heart-transplant recipient to complete 140.6 miles of an Ironman triathlon. And he did it twice. Not long after he turned 30, Derek Fitzgerald was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The treatment saved his life, but it nearly destroyed his heart. "You just get weaker and weaker and weaker, and every night I would go to bed and I would wonder, 'am I going to wake up tomorrow?' And that's pretty much the way it was for seven years." Read more →

The first 3D printed organ—a liver—is expected in 2014

Source, Date

Approximately 18 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. But that may change someday sooner than you think—thanks to 3D printing. Advances in the 3D printing of human tissue have moved fast enough that San Diego-based bio-printing company Organovo now expects to unveil the world's first printed organ—a human liver—next year. Like other forms of 3D printing, bio-printing lays down layer after layer of material—in this case, live cells—to form a solid physical entity—in this case, human tissue. The major stumbling block in creating tissue continues to be manufacturing the vascular system needed to provide it with life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients. Living cells may literally die before the tissue gets off the printer table. Read more →

Story of boy's death and donation of his organs inspires film, one-act play

The Charlotte Observer, 23 Dec, 2013

Myra Terrell Crayton could have wallowed in sorrow for years after her 11-year-old son died. Some people do. If it hadn't been for the promise she made to Garrett, she might have turned inward, stayed homebound and withdrawn from the world. "I promised Garrett in the hospital, 'The world is going to know you're here.'" Garrett would have turned 21 last September, and by all accounts, no one would disagree that his mother has kept her word. Their story of organ donation has been captured in an award-winning short film. And it has been discussed at speaking engagements, such as the Transplant Games of America, which is a multisport event for athletes who have received life-saving transplants. Read more →

After lung transplant that changed the rules, Sarah is doing fine

NBC News, 21 Dec, 2013

Six months after a life-saving double lung transplant, the Pennsylvania girl whose parents changed the way the organs are allocated in the U.S. is growing healthy and strong - and she wants a Furby Boom for Christmas. Sarah Murnaghan, 11, can breathe on her own and walk by herself for short distances. She speaks in a clear, calm voice, even on a day with a slight scare over too much congestion in her chest. "The morning was a bit rough, but I'm feeling a bit better," she told NBC News by phone Friday. That simple sentence is priceless to Sarah's mom, Janet Murnaghan, who, with her husband, went to federal court to force the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, or OPTN, to alter its rules and allow the child to be considered for transplant based on how sick she was, instead of her age. Read more →

Anthropologist honoured for alerting world to organ trafficking

BioEdge, 14 Dec, 2013

Anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes, of the University of California Berkeley, has been honored by the American Anthropological Association with its first ever Anthropology in Public Policy Award for her trailblazing work on the dark practice of human organ trafficking. In 1999, Scheper-Hughes helped found the Berkeley Organs Watch project. It monitors the organ-transplant trade for abuses among the transnational networks that connect patients, transplant surgeons, brokers, medical facilities and live donors, who often live in the poorest parts of the world. "When I began the Organs Watch project, it was heretical to suggest that human trafficking for organs was not just a hyperbolic metaphor of human exploitation, but was actually happening in many parts of the world," Scheper-Hughes said in her acceptance remarks. Read more →

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