CHICAGO – A 2-year-old girl born without a windpipe now has a new one grown from her own stem cells, the youngest patient in the world to benefit from the experimental treatment.
Hannah Warren has been unable to breathe, eat, drink or swallow on her own since she was born in South Korea in 2010. Until the operation at a central Illinois hospital, she had spent her entire life in a hospital in Seoul. Doctors there told her parents there was no hope and they expected her to die.
The stem cells came from Hannah’s bone marrow, extracted with a special needle inserted into her hip bone. They were seeded in a lab onto a plastic scaffold, where it took less than a week for them to multiply and create a new windpipe.
About the size of a 3-inch tube of penne pasta, it was implanted April 9 in a nine-hour procedure.
Early signs indicate the windpipe is working, Hannah’s doctors announced Tuesday, although she is still on a ventilator. They believe she will eventually be able to live at home and lead a normal life.
Bombing suspect’s wife wants body
The widow of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects will ask the Massachusetts medical examiner to release her husband’s body to his family.
Katherine Russell’s lawyer says in a statement Tuesday that she wants Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s remains released to the Tsarnaev family.
Jury deliberates on doc behind 5 deaths
A Philadelphia jury began weighing murder charges Tuesday against a doctor charged with killing five people, including four viable babies allegedly born alive in what authorities describe as illegal, late-term abortions routinely performed at his clinic.
Kermit Gosnell, 72, faces the death penalty if convicted of killing babies born alive. A string of former clinic employees testified over the past two months, telling jurors that Gosnell cut live babies in the back of the neck to ensure they were dead.
Four of them have pleaded guilty to murder charges for the babies they say they killed, or for helping sedate a 41-year-old patient who died of an overdose. They accused Gosnell of killing two of the four babies, but he could be convicted in all four deaths if the jury deems him an accomplice or conspirator.
Paperwork for insurance shortened
People who apply for health insurance through the U.S. government starting in October face a lot less red tape than anticipated.
The U.S. government cut the length of the 21-page application to three pages for individuals and seven for families in an effort to simplify the process for those looking to gain health coverage from the Affordable Care Act.
The applications were posted online Tuesday as President Barack Obama said full implementation of the health-care overhaul is on schedule.
What we’re doing is making sure that every single day we are constantly trying to hit our marks so that it will be in place, Obama told reporters at the White House.