McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member George V. Mazariegos, MD (pictured), director of Pediatric Transplantation in the Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation at Children’s Hospital, recently celebrated the 10th year anniversary of a history-making procedure at Children’s: In 1998, the first child in the United States received a heart-double lung-liver transplant.
Brendon Ednie was 2 years old when he underwent the quadruple-organ transplant at Children’s Hospital on August 21, 1998. Dr. Mazariegos was part of the team of transplant surgeons who began his surgery at 10:30 a.m. and finished 20 hours later. Now 12, Brendon lives in South Daytona, Florida, with his mother and father, Rebecca and Bryon, and his 15-year-old sister, Rachell. He is entering the fifth grade.
“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 been a privilege to be involved in Brendon’s care and watch him grow into adolescence.”
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 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.
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC News Release (08/27/08)
Bio: George V. Mazariegos, MD