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British boy given 'miracle' new throat surgery

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British boy given 'miracle' new throat surgery


The words modern day miracle are too often applied to advances in medicine.

But they are an understatement for the parents of the first child in the world to undergo pioneering throat surgery to replace a very narrow windpipe.

Ciaran Finn-Lynch was born with Long Segment Tracheal Stenosis, a condition that left him with a windpipe just one millimetre wide and unable to breathe normally.

Four months on from the operation, Ciaran’s mother Colleen paid tribute to doctors who saved her son.

“We are just delighted to give Ciaran a chance and we have got our boy back,” she said.

Doctors took a windpipe from a dead donor and stripped it of its living tissue. It was then placed in Ciaran’s throat and covered with his own stem cells to avoid the problem of his body rejecting the organ.

Professor Martin Birchall of University College London said: “It has certainly not been an easy road and we are not at the end of the road yet but it has gone better than we hoped it would, it really has. He is left with a healthy organ made from his own stem cells and that, in a way, is a kind of miracle.”

Surgeons hope the groundbreaking procedure will lead to a revolution in regenerative medicine.

Ciaran, who turned 11 last month, is now looking forward to returning to school in September.

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