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Nation’s First Child To Receive Heart-Double Lung-Liver Transplant Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Historic Procedure at Children’s Hospital

Brendon Ednie underwent quadruple-organ transplant at Children’s Hospital in August 1998

The first child in the United States to receive a heart-double lung-liver transplant is marking the 10th year anniversary of his history-making procedure at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Brendon Ednie was 2 years old when he underwent the quadruple-organ transplant at Children’s Hospital on Aug. 21, 1998. A team of transplant surgeons began his surgery at 10:30 a.m. and finished 20 hours later. Now 12, Brendon lives in South Daytona, Fla., with his mother and father, Rebecca and Bryon, and his 15-year-old sister, Rachell. He is entering the fifth grade.

“Brendon has overcome so many challenges in his life and there have been ups and downs over the last 10 years, but it is amazing to see how far he has come since his transplant,” Rebecca Ednie said. “We are forever grateful to the donor family and Children’s Hospital for giving Brendon a second chance at life.”

Brendon received all four organs from the same donor. He needed a transplant because he was born with Alagille syndrome, a rare, hereditary disorder characterized by a reduced number of bile ducts in the liver. The severity of the disease can vary greatly from patient to patient, with some experiencing very few, if any, symptoms.

Others, like Brendon, have severe symptoms. Brendon was born without bile ducts in his liver or a pulmonary artery — the blood vessel that connects the heart with the lungs. If Brendon had not received the transplant, doctors at Children’s Hospital determined he would have suffered liver and heart failure and would have died within a year.

“Children’s Hospital has been at the forefront of pioneering many types of transplant surgeries, which have offered a second chance to hundreds of children like Brendon,” said one of the doctors involved in his case, Steven A. Webber, MBChB, chief of Pediatric Cardiology and medical director of Pediatric Heart and Heart-Lung Transplantation at Children’s Hospital. “We’re proud to see Brendon and our other patients reach these milestones and know that we’ve played a part.”

George V. Mazariegos, director of Pediatric Transplantation in the Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation at Children’s Hospital, was one of Brendon’s transplant surgeons.

“Brendon’s transplant was groundbreaking in that a surgery with such a combination of organs had never been performed in a child before, but we were successful because of the tremendous collaboration among the various teams involved,” Dr. Mazariegos said. “It has truly a privilege to be involved in Brendon’s care and watch him grow into adolescence.”

Children’s Hospital is the world’s first comprehensive pediatric solid organ transplant program, established in 1981. It performed its first pediatric heart transplant in 1982. Since then, Children’s Hospital’s transplant teams have expanded the cardiopulmonary transplant program to include procedures such as heart-liver transplantation, heart-kidney transplantation, heart-lung transplantation and double- and single-lung transplantation.

In addition to Brendon’s transplant, Children’s Pediatric Heart and Lung Transplantation program:

•    Performed the world’s first pediatric heart-liver transplant in 1984
•    Performed the first successful pediatric heart-lung transplant in 1985
•    Has performed more pediatric heart-lung transplants than any other center in the country

Contacts:

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919 or 412-692-5016, marc.lukasiak@chp.edu
Melanie Finnigan, 412-692-5502 or 412-692-5016, melanie.finnigan@chp.edu

Last Update
September 20, 2012
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Last Update
September 20, 2012
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