News

Arab-Israeli Infant Doing Well After Multiple Transplant

U.S. surgeons say they have successfully completed a six-organ transplant on a 15-month-old Arab-Israeli girl.   From Miami, VOA's Brian Wagner reports she is the second child in the same family to undergo the intensive procedure in the United States.

Doctors at the University of Miami's Jackson Memorial Medical Center say Halla Awad is doing well after the more than eight-hour operation last month.

Surgeons performed the multi-organ transplant because of a disease that affects the 15-month-old girl's digestive system, impairing her ability to absorb nutrients from food. They say the rare condition known as microvillous inclusion disease is fatal, if not treated.

Pediatric gastroenterologist Erick Hernandez, who helped treat Halla, said patients with the condition suffer massive diarrhea and need constant feeding.

"The end result is permanent replacement of fluids as well as nutrients through an intra-venous way," he said.  "The end result of that type of nutrition is quite often, I would say most times, is chronic liver disease."

In Halla's case, Hernandez said they needed to transplant the liver, stomach, pancreas, spleen, and small and large intestines.

Doctors at Jackson Memorial perform dozens of similar operations each year. But they say Halla weighed four and a half kilograms at the time, making her one of the smallest children to undergo the procedure.

Because of her small size, doctors at the facility spent about seven months trying to feed her and build her strength ahead of the operation. The hospital's director of pediatric transplants, Tomoaki Kato, said it was a risky period of waiting.

"This little girl, Halla, was very sick before transplant," he explained.  "She almost died once in the hospital while waiting for the organs, so it was a rocky road for the family."

In fact, it has been a difficult road for Halla, as well as her older sister, Janna. Last August, Janna, 2, underwent a similar multiple organ transplant to address the congenital disease. Since then, doctors say she has recovered well and has returned home with her father to the Haifa area in northern Israel.

The girls' mother, Hala Awad, said she also hopes to return home once her younger daughter recovers fully. And she expressed thanks to families of the donor children.

"I think to give a life to another family makes it easier to handle the loss of their precious kids," she said.  "I wish I could meet both families that gave my daughters the organs, just to say they saved my daughters' lives."

The girls' mother said she hopes both of her daughters continue to recover to lead normal lives. She also said the family is welcoming donations to pay for the girls' medical care.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs