9-year-old gets rare six-organ transplant

BOSTON (WGME/CNN) – At Boston's Children's Hospital, a spirited 9-year-old girl is finally packing up her things to return home three months after receiving a six-organ transplant that saved her life.

Alannah Shevenell from Hollis, ME, received a new esophagus, liver, stomach, spleen, pancreas and small intestine after losing her own to a myofroblastic tumor. The tumor wrapped itself around her organs, eventually cutting off blood supply to those organs.

"This is a very difficult operation," Dr. Heung Be Kim said. "It's about as difficult as you can get and the hard part of it is the actual removal of the tumor and the organs."

After being on the transplant waiting list for 15 months, one family's loss became Alannah's miracle. Three months ago, doctors took Alannah in for her transplant surgery.

During the 14-and-a-half-hour surgery, doctors removed the cancerous tumor and the six organs. Doctors then transplanted the six brand new organs and gave Alannah her life back.

Kim kept all six organs attached during the transplant.

"So it's really like transplanting one large organ," Kim said.

Alannah must take medicine to keep her body from rejecting the new organs, but she can now live a normal life.

This is believed to be the very first transplant of an esophagus.

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