Bone marrow stem cells allow girl to breathe on her own

Published 04/30 2013 04:21PM

Updated 04/30 2013 05:43PM

PEORIA -- For the first time ever, a child has received a new wind pipe using stem cells from her own bone marrow. The life-saving surgery took place in Peoria.

Hannah Warren was born without a trachea. The defect occurs in 1 of 50,000 births. At 2-1/2 years old, she's the only one who's survived.

Surgeons created a new windpipe using the stem cells and a white plastic tube. Earlier this month, surgeons at Children's Hospital of Illinois successfully transplanted it. A few days later, another first, Hannah started to breathe on her own.

Hannah's parents, Darryl and Mi-Young Warren, say they plan to help other parents going through similar situations. Doctors say the surgery opens a field of possibilities to help children born with birth defects.

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