HOLLIS, Maine — (NEWS CENTER) Just over four years ago, a 13-year old girl from Hollis received a ground breaking multi-organ transplant.
Alannah Shevenell received a new esophagus, liver, stomach, spleen, pancreas and small intestine after losing her own organs to a rare tumor.
And her body has not rejected any of the organs — which is one of the biggest concerns following a transplant operation
Doctors say her progress is nothing short of a miracle and because she is doing so well her family is now planning for her future.
Alannah and her grandparents, who legally adopted her are celebrating their fourth Christmas at home since her ground breaking surgery. She received the first known esophageal transplant in the world.
It was also the largest number of organs transplanted at one time in New England.
The 7th grader has since weaned off the dozens of medications but she will have to take several anti-rejection drugs for the rest of her life. She has to return to Boston several times a year for blood tests and scans.
The cancer has not returned and her body has accepted her organs without any serious problems.
Her grandparents say for the first time in years they are now able to think about Alannah’s high school and college plans and other important milestones.
‘Looking at two years from now where are we going to be thinking about buying another car because she will be old enough to drive,’ said Debi Skolas, Alannah’s Grandmother..
Because her medical problems, Alannah missed several years of school.
She has caught up academically and serves on the student council and sings in the choir at St. James School in Biddeford.