Thursday, 13 Sep, 2007 Health & Fitness
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5-Year-Old Girl - Youngest in the World with Double Lung Transplant

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Just a year ago doctors gave Mariam Imran five months to live. Now, having become the youngest recipient of a double lung transplant in Britain, the 5-year-girl is a picture of health.

The girl suffered from inborn cystic fibrosis, a hereditary disease affecting the respiratory and digestive systems. She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis being only three months old. The lungs of the girl were covered in mucus, making her struggled to breathe.

Last year the disease progressed so quickly that Mariam was given oxygen to be able to breathe. The girl desperately needed a lung transplant, however, it was really difficult to find a donor among the Asian community.

Although it is not necessary for the transplant-recipient to be from the same ethnic group as the donor, people of the same color have more chances to become a match. Fortunately, a donor for the suffering girl was found in January and Great Ormond Street Hospital's surgeons performed the operation that lasted for eight hours. Four weeks after the operation, Mariam was moved to the local hospital and stayed there until April. Today Mariam is happy to be back at school, and run around with her friends.

Faaiza Dar, Mariam's mother, having witnessed the amazing transformation in her child, urges more African and Asian people to undergo donor's registration. She says, that the majority of people never consider such things, still people need to become more informed about the issues relevant to organ donation. Mariam's mother says she can't imagine the tragedy the family who donated the lungs had to come through and she doesn't have words enough to express her gratitude.

According to the statistics, Black and Asian people, who make up less than 2 per cent of deceased donors need a kidney transplant three times more often than people from other ethnic groups.

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