In the United States, a little girl born without her windpipe and now aged two has been given a windpipe-artery implant. The operation was carried out on 9 April by an international team of surgeons who succeeded in "manufacturing"a replacement organ by using the stem cells of the child’s bone marrow. These were cultivated on a special plastic tube and quickly multiplied. Within a week they had formed a new windpipe.
Since her birth, the little girl has been kept in hospital in Seoul, unable to breathe, eat, drink or swallow, and the doctors gave her no chance of survival. Following the success of the operation, Dr Paolo Macchiarini, professor of regenerative surgery in the Karolina Institutet in Stockolm, Sweden, who took part in the operation, stated: "The most striking thing about this miracle (…) is that not only has this implant saved her life but it will end up by enabling her to eat, drink, swallow and even talk like any normal child."