Procedure on little girl a medical first - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/10/09

Procedure on little girl a medical first

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There was a medical marvel in New York recently when a 7-year-old girl became both the donor and the recipient of six of her own organs. 

Doctors at Presbyterian Hospital discovered little Heather McNamara had a tumor the size of a tennis ball in her stomach. To make matters worse, it was tangled up in vital organs and blood vessels. However, in an extraordinary procedure that had never been done in a child before, doctors removed six organs first just to get to the tumor.

Lead surgeon Dr. Tomoaki Kato, says, "The most trickiest [sic], difficult part of the operation is once the organs come out of the body we really need to be able to put the organs back in." The surgery took 23 hours. 

Now, a month later, there was a big send off at that hospital as heather is finally well enough to go home. Heather's family is thrilled, but they understand that heather still has challenges.  Her stomach, pancreas, and spleen could not be saved because the cancer had spread so much. Doctors are optimistic, though, about her ability to overcome those problems.

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