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2-year-old girl with first artificial windpipe dies


09:13, July 09, 2013

WASHINGTON, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The 2-year-old girl implanted with the first artificial windpipe grown from her own stem cells three months ago has died, the U.S. Children's Hospital of Illinois announced Monday.

"Following her successful, pioneering trachea transplant surgery in April, and despite all efforts, Hannah (Warren) was unable to overcome additional health issues that were identified as her care progressed," the Peoria-based hospital said in a statement. "Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Warren family."

Hannah's Canadian father and Korean mother said in a blog update that the toddler died Saturday as a result of poor lung function.

"Her new trachea was performing well, but her lungs went from fairly good, to weak, to poor," they said. "She is a pioneer in stem-cell technology and her impact will reach all corners of our beautiful Earth."

Hannah was born in August 2010 in Seoul, South Korea, with tracheal agenesis, a rare birth defect, and had spent her entire life in hospitals.

In April, doctors at the Children's Hospital of Illinois implanted a tissue-engineered, bioartificial trachea, which was made using non-absorbable nanofibers and stem cells from Hannah's own bone marrow.

Doctors said they believe Hannah helped advance the so-called regenerative medicine, which is still at its very beginning stages.

"Even at this time of loss and grief, we, and Hannah's family, take comfort in the knowledge that the efforts of her physicians and the care team working with them will benefit and serve other children and adults in the years to come," the hospital said.

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