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Girls turns to Zumba to raise money for sister’s lung transplant – WCNC

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DENVER, N.C. — A young woman from Denver, North Carolina sits in Raleigh waiting for a double lung transplant, and her little sister is helping raise money for her medical expenses.

Jordan Magro, 10, has been doing Zumba at Denver Health and Fitness for three years, and has taken a lead as a junior Zumba instructor in the last year.

“I think it expresses who I really am,” said Jordan.

When Jordan’s aunt started a Go Fund Me page to raise money for sister Alyssa’s transplant, Jordan knew she could help using the sisters’ shared passion for dance.

“I brought them all into the Zumba room and said, ‘I want to have a Zumba party for my sister’,” said Jordan.

The Zumba instructors at Denver Health and Fitness had already been brainstorming a fundraising event to help the family, and they jumped right in to help.

Together they were able to pull together a Zumba class filled with 70 kids and adults. They raised $1,400 for the cause affectionately known as “Team Alyssa,” while wearing purple shirts to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis.

“Lots of kids showed up. The community really showed up for this. That was really nice to see… really nice to see,” said Denver Health and Fitness owner Jeff Pettit.

While Jordan and Alyssa can’t see each other every day, Jordan understands her struggle to breathe. She was also born with Cystic Fibrosis.

“Sometimes when I’m dancing, I can’t really breathe through my nose when I have to,” said Jordan.

“Alyssa played sports, but she loved to dance. Jordan’s just taking right after her. It’s amazing to see them with their condition, they don’t let it hold them back,” said dad Chris Magro.

Together the community’s raised more than $30,000 to help Alyssa, and Jordan’s event was a huge contributor.

“It just means there’s a lot of special people out there,” said Chris.

Jordan agrees, contributing her event’s success to her Zumba instructors and the friends who helped her choreograph a special routine to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis.

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Newborn baby in need of life-saving transplant is saved by mother’s twin … – Daily Mail

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  • Star Reader was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia within days of being born
  • The baby’s bile ducts were blocked – a condition which can prove fatal
  • Neither of her parents were suitable candidates for partial liver transplant
  • Her maternal aunt Shanell was the best chance she had at survival
  • Star underwent operation in Leeds in November and has since recovered  

By Lucy Laing For Mailonline
Published: 13:43 EST, 5 April 2015
Updated: 13:44 EST, 5 April 2015

A newborn baby with a life-threatening liver condition has been saved after undergoing a transplant from her mother’s twin sister.

Star Reader was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia within days of being born in Barnsley, West Yorkshire.

After undergoing an operation to have her bile ducts unblocked, her parents, Jade Reader and Matthew Bygrave, were told the infant would need a liver transplant in order to survive.

Jade Reader (left) said she was ‘overcome with emotion’ when her twin sister Shanell (right) gave up part of her liver to save niece Star

With neither parent a suitable match, her maternal aunt Shanell Reader offered part of her organ, and has since saved her niece’s life.

Star’s parents feared she was unwell after noticing her skin turning a yellowy tinge shortly after birth.

While jaundice is common among babies, the colour did not leave her little body for weeks, prompting doctors to run tests on her liver.

‘We didn’t think it was anything serious at first. Matthew had jaundice when he was a baby and he just had to go back into hospital and go under a lamp,’ said Miss Reader, 24.

Doctors discovered the baby’s bile ducts were blocked, a condition that can prove fatal if untreated.

Following an unsuccessful attempt to unclog them, a liver transplant was the family’s only option.

Within days of being born, Star's parents knew something was wrong when she her skin turned a yellowy tinge

Within days of being born, Star’s parents knew something was wrong when she her skin turned a yellowy tinge

While the baby's mother was not a suitable match, her twin sister proved an ideal candidate. They are pictured as children 

While the baby’s mother was not a suitable match, her twin sister proved an ideal candidate. They are pictured as children

‘We were utterly shocked when we were told what Star had. We had never thought it was anything like that.

‘When we knew that it could be life-threatening it was devastating. She was only a few weeks old and yet we may lose her,’ said her mother.


Biliary atresia affects about 1 in 16,000 babies at birth. In this condition, bile ducts are either blocked or absent.

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Transplants give second chances – Jackson Sun

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Transplant surgery changes lives, said Rebecca Nenon, Jackson native and nurse practitioner at the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis.

“We’re literally giving people a second chance,” Nenon said.

James Eason, medical director and surgeon at the institute, is also a native of Jackson. He has worked at the institute for nine years, and he said he has performed more than 2,000 transplants in that time.

He said the institute does abdominal transplants in children and adults, including liver, kidney and pancreas transplants. He said the most common transplants are adult livers, and the most common contributing disease is Hepatitis C.

“We do about 120 a year,” Eason said. “We have been one of the 10 largest transplant programs in the country for the last eight years.”

April is National Donate Life Month, a time to raise awareness of the need for people to register as organ donors. To learn more about organ donation in Tennessee, visit

Eason said children can get liver disease, and the Transplant Institute is the only pediatric liver transplant center in the Mid-South.

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7-year-old in need of transplant carries life-saving device in backpack – WAVE 3

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Lacey will wear a backpack that carries the machine that keeps her alive. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Posted: Apr 03, 2015 7:41 PM

Updated: Apr 03, 2015 7:58 PM

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Home is something that’s easy to take for granted when you’re there most days. But when you’ve called a hospital home for more than two months home takes on a whole new meaning.

The independence of a 7-year-old is not unexpected coming from Lacey Miller.

“Lacey is a spitfire. She’s a firecracker really,” her mother, Jessica Harmon said.

A firecracker on the move. Lacey has a long to-do list, which is remarkable considering where she’s been.

“Lacey’s a little girl who presented to the hospital very sick, in bad heart failure,” said Dr. Joshua Sparks.

Harmon said one day Lacey was in school, then all of a sudden things changed.

“Her heart failure had gotten so bad that her heart was unable to sustain not only her other organs but ultimately long-term survival,” added Dr. Mark Slaughter.

Doctors at University of Louisville Hospital and Kosair Children’s Hospital tried medicines, but they didn’t work.

“She got sicker and sicker and eventually ended up on a life-saving machine called ECMO, which saves lives but it’s only useful for a temporary, short period of time,” said Dr. Sparks.

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Packard Children’s Hospital leads nation in pediatric organ transplantation – Stanford Medical Center Report

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Packard Children’s Hospital leads nation in pediatric organ transplantation

The hospital’s success in 2014 builds on Stanford’s history of innovative surgical techniques as well as methods of increasing the pool of organ donors.

Apr 1 2015

Carlos Esquivel

Newly released 2015 data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network showed that the transplant center at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford Children’s Health remains the national leader in pediatric organ transplantation.

The organization, which supports ongoing evaluation of the status of solid organ transplantation in the United States, noted the following achievements for the hospital in 2014:

  • No. 1 in pediatric organ transplant volume in the United States, with 91 organs transplanted. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital performs liver, kidney, heart and lung transplants, as well as combined-organ transplants in which two organs are given to the same patient in a single surgery.
  • No. 1 in liver transplant volume in the United States. Also, the liver transplant program’s outcomes exceed the national average, with three-year patient survival rates at 100 percent for the last five data-reporting periods.
  • No. 1 in kidney transplant volume in the western United States. Also, the kidney transplant program’s outcomes exceed the national average with one- and three-year patient survival rates at 100 percent for the last five data-reporting periods.
  • No. 1 in heart transplant volume on the West Coast. In addition, the heart transplant team implanted 13 ventricular-assist devices, which help extend the lives of patients until they’re able to receive a donor heart.

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How maple syrup urine disease led to transplants and saved lives – Washington Post

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By Deborah Kotz,

March 30 at 6:21 PM

When two Maryland children got lifesaving liver transplants from deceased organ donors in January, the children’s diseased livers were not discarded, as such organs usually are. Instead, they were donated to two Virginia adults in an unusual domino series of transplants at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

Jeremy Dick, left, received the liver of 14-year-old Quadejah Harris, right, at the Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute on Feb. 12 in Washington, DC. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Their gift opened a whole new avenue of treatment for adults who might have otherwise died waiting for a liver transplant.

Children generally are not allowed to be organ donors because they are considered too young to make an informed decision about the medical risks involved. In this case, their livers had to be removed anyway, and science had recently determined that the disease that caused their livers to malfunction would not appear upon transplantation. Size also wasn’t an issue because a transplanted liver grows to fit whatever body it’s placed in.

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St. Augustine child saved by heart transplant at 8 months, family now promotes … – Florida Times-Union

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Provided by Zach Thomas Photography Grace Ohlin-Tobuck (front), 4, and her sister, Emily, 8, spend time on the beach. Grace had a lifesaving heart transplant at 8 months old.

By Beth Reese Cravey Sun, Mar 29, 2015 @ 7:43 pm | updated Mon, Mar 30, 2015 @ 11:07 am

Four-year-old Grace Ohlin-Tobuck of St. Augustine is too young to understand all the big medical words associated with the congenital defect doctors found in her heart before she was born.

She is too young to grasp the mechanics of the heart transplant she received before her first birthday.

“She knows that she has another child’s heart, and that child is in heaven,” said her mother, Lindsay Ohlin.

Organ donation saved Grace’s life. Her mother is telling their story to help promote the 11th annual Katie’s Ride for Life, a bicycle touring event April 18 in Fernandina Beach that raises funds for organ-donation programs.

“She is so energetic now and doing so great it is hard to remember how sick she was,“ Ohlin said. “Anyone from the outside would never know by looking at her.”


Twenty weeks into Ohlin’s pregnancy, a routine ultrasound revealed the baby had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare defect in which the structures of the left side of the heart are underdeveloped. When Grace was born Dec. 13, 2010, Ohlin and her husband, Kirk Tobuck, had a few minutes with her before a team of Wolfson Children’s Hospital specialists took charge.

Five days later, Grace underwent the first of three planned surgeries to “reroute the blood so the single, right-sided pumping chamber can pump it to both the body and the lungs,” according to Wolfson. Four weeks later she went home with a feeding tube, a machine to monitor oxygen levels in her blood and twice-a-week home visits from a nurse.

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Heart Transplant Recipient Home After Suffering Complications Celebrates 5th … – KCEN-TV

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Posted: Mar 28, 2015 7:24 PMUpdated: Mar 28, 2015 7:24 PM

BELTON  —  A happy homecoming was celebrated Saturday evening for a little boy from Belton who is also a heart transplant survivor.Jesus Olivarez, 5, finally got to celebrate his birthday during his welcome home party following a recent health scare.

Jesus was born with a hole in his heart and backwards arteries, and received a heart transplant in October of 2014.

However, his body started to reject the new heart, and he was rushed to a Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston the night before his fifth birthday on March 1st.

On Saturday, he and his family finally got to celebrate with a Frozen-themed party.
People wore green in honor of his transplant ribbon.

“I have no worries, it’s God’s choice,what he wants to do,” said Vicki Olivarez, Jesus’ mother.  “I know he has a big plan for my son in the future, ya know, ‘cuz he’s still here.”

Jesus has to see his doctors in Houston again in two weeks, and will have another biopsy at the end of  April.
If the biopsy goes well, he won’t need another one for six months.

UK surgeons complete Europe’s first ‘dead heart’ transplant –

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Non-beating heart recipient Huseyin Ulucan, left, from London  Photo: BBC

Surgeons have carried out the UK’s first non-beating heart transplant.

Huseyin Ulucan, 60, from London, became the first successful recipient of a heart transplant from a non-beating heart donor in Europe following an operation at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire earlier this month.

The hospital said he is making “remarkable progress” after spending only four days in its critical care unit and is now recovering well at home.

Currently not everyone who needs a heart transplant can have one due to there not being enough suitable ones available, but it is thought that by using non-beating hearts the operations could increase by up to 25 per cent in the UK alone, saving hundreds of lives.

Usually hearts of people that have died are kept beating but the procedure, developed at Papworth, involves restoring function to the heart before it is then placed onto an Organ Care System (OCS) to maintain its quality before it is transplanted.

Transmedics video about organ preservation techniques

Cardiothoracic transplant registrar Simon Messer said: “Using techniques developed to recover the abdominal organs in non-heart beating donors, we wanted to apply similar techniques to hearts from these donors.

“Until this point we were only able to transplant organs from DBD (donation after brain-stem death) donors. However, research conducted at Papworth allowed us to develop a new technique not used anywhere else in the world to ensure the best possible outcome for our patients using hearts from non-beating heart donors.”

The Transmedics Organ Care System with a heart

Mr Ulucan, who had a heart attack in 2008, told the BBC: “Before the surgery, I could barely walk and I got out of breath very easily, I really had no quality of life.

“Now I’m feeling stronger every day, and I walked into the hospital this morning without any problem.”

The team was led by consultant surgeon Stephen Large, who said: “Significant research has gone into finding new, safe ways to increase the number of lives we save using heart transplantation.

“This is a very exciting development. By enabling the safe use of this kind of donor hearts, we could significantly increase the total number of heart transplants each year, saving hundreds of lives.”