Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:00 pm
CHERYL BURKE | 1 comment
BEAUFORT — East Carteret High School sophomore Allie Cayton, 16, underwent a successful double lung transplant Sunday at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, according to her grandmother Pam Cayton from here.
“Her new lungs are working, but she’s still hooked up to a ventilator. They’re planning on taking her off of that soon,” said Mrs. Cayton during a telephone interview Tuesday.
Allie had complained of breathing problems the first week of April during a spring break trip. She was taken to Carteret General Hospital, then transported by helicopter to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, then transferred to Duke. Doctors determined a virus had damaged her lungs to the point she needed the transplant.
Mrs. Cayton said Allie was approved for a lung transplant and placed on the transplant list Thursday evening. The family received a call at 1 a.m. Sunday that a match had been found. She went into surgery at 12:30 that day, which was over by 10:30 that night, according to Mrs. Cayton.
“It all just happened so quickly,” she said.
Mrs. Cayton said the lungs came from a 16-year-old girl.
“That’s the difficult part,” she said. “You’ve got to feel for that family.”
Mrs. Cayton said doctors hoped to get Allie up Tuesday for the first time, but that it would be a long and painful healing process.
She could remain hospitalized for between one and two weeks, then she will be moved to the Ronald McDonald House and stay with her mother Donna Lewis-Cayton, who is already staying there to be with her daughter.
“Allie will have to stay there for six to eight weeks for follow-up treatments,” she said.
Doctors plan to perform biopsies on Allie’s lungs to try and better determine what happened to her lungs, Mrs. Cayton said.
Efforts are under way by community members to raise funds to help the family. Betty Weeks, a member of Ann Street United Methodist Church in Beaufort, said a meeting would be held at 6 p.m. today to organize fundraisers to help the family. Those interested in helping are welcome.
Anyone wishing to make donations to help Allie and her family during this difficult time may do so at any First Citizens Bank, where an account has been set up in her name.
They can also follow her progress of recovery on her Facebook page “Prayers for Allie Cayton.”
Those who wish to send a card, can send it to: Alexandria Cayton, Floor 5, Pediatric ICU, Room 5605, Duke University Medical Center, 2301 Erwin Road, Durham, N.C. 27710.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.