A 2 ½ year old girl, who lives in Seoul Korea, is the first child to recieve an artificial windpipe. Hannah Warren has been kept alive her entire life by a tube inserted from her mouth to her lung. Without the tube, she would have been unable to breathe, talk, eat or drink on her own. She was born without a windpipe, as a result of a rare congenital condition.
In a pioneering operation at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, Hannah received a bio-artificial trachea made from cells of her own bone marrow. Since there was no donor involved, the chances of her immune system rejecting the new trachea have virtually been eliminated.
The surgery, performed by Dr. Paolo Macchiarini of Italy, has been performed before, but never on a child as young as Hannah. Her surgery offers hope for other children with similar birth defects and is somewhat of a breakthrough in regenerative medicine and the field of surgical technology.