Trachea transplant recipient dies

Published on July 8, 2013
Travel arrangements are in place for Hannah Warren to travel from Korea to Illinois, where she’ll receive a synthetic trachea.  — Submitted photo

The life of a young girl born without a windpipe has sadly come to an end.

Hannah Warren, the Korean daughter of Paradise native Darryl Warren, spent her entire life at a Seoul hospital.

On April 9, she underwent a high-tech trachea transplant at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois, which is part of the OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

It was the first tissue-engineered, bio-artificial trachea transplant in a child.

In simplest terms, stem cells from Hannah’s bone marrow were attached to a plastic scaffold, where they multiplied and created the trachea. Following her operation, medical teams were thrilled that a tissue sample from her new trachea showed her cells transforming into trachea cells.

In an earlier article in The Telegram, one of Hannah’s doctors said the surgical stress during the operation was substantial.

Still, following her procedure, Hannah had started to do a little breathing on her own, and hopes were high.

Family announcement

Her family posted about her death on a site called “Help Hannah Breathe.” The site was a place where people could donate money to help Hannah’s family with her medical bills.

“Hannah Genevieve Warren passed away peacefully yesterday at 3:30 pm (July 6th). Our hearts are broken,” the message reads. “We will forever miss her infectious personality and miraculous strength and spirit. Born without a trachea, she gave us over 34 months of ever-lasting memories. We are humbled and blessed. She is a pioneer in stem-cell technology and her impact will reach all corners of our beautiful Earth. Her new trachea was performing well, but her lungs went from fairly good, to weak, to poor. She’s free now and with her Angel Wings she will perform many more miracles in Heaven (God willing).”

The post also thanks everybody who donated money for Hannah to have the surgery.