Family Research Council

Hannah's New Windpipe


By Tony Perkins
August 22, 2013

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A new windpipe therapy is sure taking the air out of the embryonic stem cell crowd. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Imagine not being able to breathe, eat, drink, or swallow on your own. Hannah Warren knows what that's like. The two-year-old from Korea was born without a windpipe. She's had to live in the hospital with a tube in her mouth her entire life. That all ended this year, when doctors grew Hannah a brand new windpipe from her own adult stem cells. With help from her bone marrow, the cells were seeded onto an artificial scaffold and allowed to grow into a windpipe that could be transplanted into Hannah's body. Dr. Macchiarini, who developed the technique, has done 14 previous operations like this, but Hannah is his youngest patient. The Illinois operation amazed doctors, especially when Hannah woke up and realized she could put her lips together for the first time. To see more examples of the life-saving potential of adult stem cells, check out StemCellResearchFacts.org.

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