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Maine girl who survived record transplant thriving

6:51 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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HOLLIS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - We have an update on a 10-year old girl from Hollis, whose ground breaking multi-organ transplant garnered world wide attention.

Alannah Shevenell was given a fifty-fifty change of surviving the surgery that replaced her stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver, small bowel and a portion of her esophagus.

 In the year since she's come home from the hospital, the fourth grader is living a life her family says they only dreamed about.

Like most ten-year olds Alannah Shevenell loves hanging out with her bff Laura. It's been a long and unbelievable journey for this little girl beaten incredible odd since undergoing a ground breaking transplant a year and a half ago.

A team of doctors at Children's Hospital in Boston removed a rare and fast growing tumor and replaced six of the organs that were caught in it's tentacles. It was the first know esophageal transplant in the world and the largest number of organs transplanted at one time in New England. Her recovery since coming home a year ago has been amazing but not without stress for her grandparents, who legally adopted her.

'You are always afraid something is going to go wrong, could she be rejecting, could she get sick, could she get a germ, we got through two colds, it was nerve wrecking for me, but she seemed to do fine,' said Debie Skolas, Alannah's Grandmother.

Alannah has weaned off the majority of the more than six dozen medications, but still takes a few anti-rejection drugs each morning and night. Blood tests and check up's come every two or three months and Alannah returned to school full-time for the first time last fall. 

Without any rejection problems her grandparents are able to start planning for Alannah's future. And for this family there isn't a day they don't appreciate the donation of all of the organs, which came from one child.

And the fact that Alannah, who spent the majority of her life in and out of the hospitals is living the life of a 'normal' kid.

Alannah still has one more operation. Next month, doctors in Boston will connected her transplanted small intestine to her large intestine. But the procedure is considered routine. She will have to take anti-rejection drugs all of her life.

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