A New Jersey teenager, who was given just six months to live, has a new lease on life thanks to a groundbreaking surgery that has never been performed on a human before.
Brianna Ranzino was turned away by four hospitals after doctors concluded that a rare and deadly tumor in her trachea was inoperable, WBZTV.com reported.
But her family refused to give up hope and traveled to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., for another opinion.
"We suggested the possibility of growing a tissue-engineered windpipe," Dr. Charles Vacanti told the news station.
And that’s exactly what they did. For the next several months, doctors grew a tissue-engineered trachea inside the 14-year-old’s stomach.
Everything was going as planned until surgeons went in to retrieve the trachea. It turned out the organ was not ready. So, instead doctors replaced her damaged esophagus by pulling her stomach to her neck.
"We are very pleased by her courage to go ahead and do this," Dr. Raphael Bueno said.
One month after the pioneering operation, Brianna is looking forward to seeing her friends and having sleepovers.
"To see her now, and hear her talk and know that we might get to see the rest of her life is exciting," her mom Lisa said.