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Interesting, Inspiring and Intriguing Links from Around the Globe


Organ donations can save lives

Lung recipient Melissa Graham will be forever grateful

Melissa Graham knows she would not be alive today if it had not been for a generous donor who gave her new lungs. She was in her second year of studies at the University of New England, and she says "when you are 22 you think you are kind of invincible."

But Melissa developed a condition called primary pulmonary hypertension, and needed a double lung transplant. Luck seems to have been on Melissa's side, within four weeks a donor was found, and nine years later she is still able to appreciate the gift she has received. Read more →


Joy at 'miracle' double lung transplant for Castlebar man

A young cystic fibrosis sufferer from Castlebar, who was staring death in the face last week, is recovering in hospital after a successful double lung transplant operation. Tom Concannon (25) from Turlough Road, Castlebar, was losing his battle with CF, a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and digestive system and dramatically reduces individuals' life expectancy. However his mother Sandra said "a miracle" occured on January 29 when a call came at 11pm announcing donor organs had been found. An ambulance arrived within 10 minutes and Tom was rushed to the Mater Hospital, Dublin, for the double transplant operation. "It's a miracle, an absolute miracle," said Ms Concannon. "Tom was losing his battle. He was on the donor list for a year but he never lost hope, he never gave up. The operation has been a success and we are getting closer and closer to going home." Read more →


Mum marks transplant milestone

Miracle double-lung transplant mum Natalie Kerr is spending today on the beach - to mark two years since her life-saving transplant.

The 32-year-old from Adlington had a successful transplant after being diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. Now two years on, Natalie is celebrating being here to see her two children grow up and live her life to the full. Natalie has made it her goal to raise awareness of the transplant register and get more people to sign up.

To mark the special milestone she has spent the past few days in Lanzarote with her children Brandon, 11, and Isabelle, six, and other family members. She said: "It's a really big day. It is two years since I got my new lungs, two extra years of living, two precious years with the kids. Read more →


Screenings and new treatments for heart defects can take patients from fetus to old age

Tina Morton knew something wasn't right in the 19th week of her pregnancy. Last year, Morton, 32, was sent by her obstetrician for a routine ultrasound. "We were excited to find out if we were having a girl or a boy," she remembers thinking as the assistant rubbed the transducer across her belly. But then the assistant stopped, and the mood in the room changed. The technician called Morton's doctor. "She couldn't tell me anything, legally, but as a mom you know. I was listening to some of the terminology, and my husband looked at me and said, 'What's wrong?' I said, 'Something is wrong with her heart.' " Morton is a nurse. She knew she would need a field echo ultrasound to check the tiny baby's heart. She wound up with a team of cardiac doctors at the Heart Institute of Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood. Daughter Addison, now 5 months old and thriving, was born with a malfunctioning left ventricle, and underwent open heart surgery when she was 10 days old. Today, advances in early detection and treatment for children with heart disease allows for more happy outcomes like Addison's. Read more →

Mesquite middle-schooler with heart diseases follows passion

When Carlee Baladez dances, she follows her heart. Carlee, a Mesquite Berry Middle School student, has already undergone two heart transplants in her 14 years. Carlee suffers from cardiomyopathy, a set of diseases that cause the heart to enlarge or thicken. She contracted the condition at age 1 after being exposed to chicken pox. But it has not stopped her from doing what she has always loved - dancing. "I want to be a professional ballerina - that is my goal," Carlee said. … The only sign Carlee showed of illness was the blisters on her body, but over time she showed symptoms of upper respiratory issues. "We just thought it was allergies, since she started showing symptoms around allergy season," Berthelette said. Doctors at Children's Medical Center in Dallas discovered her heart was enlarged to the point it was weighing on her lungs. After three months of medication and testing, Carlee once again came down with illness caused by a lowered immune system. Doctors determined Carlee needed a heart transplant. After a month's worth of testing she was placed on the donor list. Read more →

Parents Who Donated Their Child's Heart Gave My Son the Gift of Life

When Nicole Rogerson picked up the phone late one Tuesday evening in late January, she didn't know this would be the call that would change the life of her little boy. Nicole and Brian Rogerson's son, Bryce, was born in 2005 with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a congenital heart defect in which the left side of a child's heart is underdeveloped. Her miracle baby's first heart surgery was in utero, when Nicole was just 26 1/2 weeks pregnant. His second took place at just 10 days old. But by the time Bryce was 6 years old, doctors told the Rogerson family that the heart they'd cut open and repaired time after time was putting too much stress on his lungs. The 6-year-old, they said, was going to need a heart transplant. That was March 2011, three years ago, when doctors listed Bryce on the transplant list. And then came the call on January 14. Doctors had found 8-year-old Bryce a new heart. Read more →

"Miracle Child" Receives Full Lung Transplant

Her life story is nothing short of a miracle. Nancy Magana is one of just hundred babies who've received a full lung transplant at eight-weeks of age. She was born with a genetic mutation that causes the surfactant protein B deficiency. "It was the day we knew that she was sick" says her mother Fernanda. "She got trouble breathing." Her parents knew what to look for because they had lost a child to the same mutation in 2002. Nancy's only hope - a complete lung transplant. The hospital rushed Nancy to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston - one of the few places in the country to offer lung transplants for infants. Dr. George Mallory Jr, the medical director of the lung transplant program at the hospital, was one of the doctors to see her. After seven long weeks they found a donor. It could not have come soon enough for Dr. Mallory. "This girl would not have lasted many more days if we hadn't gotten the lung offered when we got it." Read more →

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