Yeay, finnaly a bit of GOOD news - Jemsite
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Yeay, finnaly a bit of GOOD news

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/...157559928.html



Quote:
SHE'S got purple highlights in her hair and bright blue fingernails, but to doctors at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, Demi-Lee Brennan is a one-in-6 billion miracle.

The 15-year-old liver transplant patient is the first person in the world to take on the immune system and blood type of her donor, negating the need to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of her life. The phenomenon, which has been documented in the New England Journal of Medicine, has amazed doctors, who say they have no idea how it occurred.

Demi-Lee, of Gerroa on the South Coast, was nine when she contracted a virus that destroyed her liver. She was given less than 48 hours to live when a donated liver from a 12-year-old boy became available.

"She's my little hero," her mother, Kerrie Mills, said yesterday. "When she was admitted to intensive care, she was very sick, and yellow … We were told we were losing her."

With only hours to spare, Demi-Lee had a 10-hour operation and was started on a ****tail of immuno-suppressant drugs, the standard fare for transplant patients to ensure their bodies do not reject the donated organ.

Nine months later, when her condition worsened and she was readmitted, doctors were shocked to find that her blood type had changed. The head of hematology, Julie Curtin, said she was stunned when she realised Demi-Lee was now O-positive, rather than O-negative.

"I was convinced we had made a mistake, so we tested it again and it came up the same. Then we tested her parents and they were both O-negative, so it was confirmed that Demi absolutely had to have been O-negative."

Dr Curtin said Demi-Lee's blood then began to break down, requiring more medications.

"We then realised it was her own residual cells which were causing the problem and we needed to get rid of them. And that's when we knew we had to convince the doctors that Demi's immuno-suppressant drug regime should be stopped, rather than increased."

But paediatric nephrologist Stephen Alexander says he wasn't easily convinced.

"We didn't believe this at first. We thought it was too strange to be true," Dr Alexander said. "Normally the body's own immune system rejects any cells that are transplanted … but for some reason the cells that came from the donor's liver seemed to survive better than Demi-Lee's own cells. It has huge implications for the future of organ transplants."

Demi-Lee, who has now been off all immuno-suppressants for 3½ years, is playing sport and working towards her school certificate. "I feel quite normal. It's almost like it never happened," she said yesterday. "I can't thank the donor's family enough, and the doctors, for giving me this second chance at life."

She has her sights on starring on Australian Idol. "That's partly why I've dyed my hair black," she whispered. "I'm a rock singer."
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 09:52 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Re: Yeay, finnaly a bit of GOOD news

I hope the doctors involved are able to understand exactly what happened, if this can be replicated, imagine how many others that are expected to die can be saved.

Rock on!
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 10:55 AM
 
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Re: Yeay, finnaly a bit of GOOD news

...This is just awesome, for the lack of better words! Wow..!
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