In a world first in children, British and Italian doctors have transplanted a new airway (trachea) into a child and used the child’s own stem cells, in the body, to rebuild it.
The donated trachea was stripped of the donor’s old cells, down to the inert collagen. The child recipient’s bone marrow stem cells were collected, and applied to the graft in situ in the body, to rebuild the cellular component of the trachea. Thus the child’s own cells will be used to make the new airway sealed and effective.
This is the first time that this has been performed
“The tracheal team at Great Ormond Street Hospital is delighted that Ciaran is going home after his tracheal transplant. He is a wonderful boy who has become a great friend to us all, and he and his infinitely patient family have charmed us all. Ciaran has become our local iPad expert, and we will miss his advice. His recovery has been complicated, as one might expect for a new procedure, and we have kept him under close surveillance, hence the length of time he has been here. It is wonderful to see him
Ciaran Finn-Lynch, who became the first child in the world to undergo a groundbreaking trachea transplant in March this year, is set to return home to Northern Ireland.
Ciaran underwent the transplant, which involved the removal of his own trachea replaced by a donor windpipe, at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Doctors then used Ciaran’s own stem cells from inside his body to build up the donor windpipe and ensure the organ was not rejected.
Four weeks ago, doctors were able to describe the transplant as a success for the first time after proving vascular supply had returned to