Friday, April 09, 2010

New Zealand tot recovering after receiving smalll intestine, liver, kidney and pancreas transplant in the U.S.

NAP TIME: Aria MacDonald tucked up with her Green Dolly. Both have a damp facecloth 'hat'.

Two months after receiving a life-saving organ transplant, Aria MacDonald is still fighting to recover in a United States intensive care unit.

The three-year-old, from Auckland, received a small intestine, liver, kidney and pancreas transplant in February at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

Aria has a rare condition that means she cannot digest food. Without a transplant she had only months before liver failure killed her.

Although the transplant saved her life, she has been struggling with infections and has had a breathing tube since the operation. The tube prevents her from talking, making it frustrating for her and her family to communicate.

She is due to try breathing on her own one more time, before doctors perform a tracheostomy, which could be in place for up to a year.

"Aria is a bright, smiley little girl who handles the trials in her life amazingly well," said her mum, Anita, on a blog following Aria's progress.

Aria received a $2.5 million grant for her treatment from the Health Ministry as bowel transplants cannot be performed in New Zealand.

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