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Triple Transplant Offers Hope to Girl with Rare Disorder

In an unprecedented surgical approach to treating a rare disorder, a 6-year-old Florida girl has received a triple organ transplant--Angela Bushi received a new liver, two kidneys, and a pancreas.  MSNBC.com reports that the surgeries, which took place in December, offer hope for a longer, better-quality life for Angela, who is suffering from Wolcott-Rallison Syndrome, a rare, fatal genetic disorder:

Only about 60 cases of the disorder -- which causes infant-onset diabetes and liver failure, as well as bone fractures, intellectual impairment and frequent infections -- have been reported. Only one of those children lived into young adulthood. It had killed Angela's younger sister and damaged Angela's organs.

On December 29, in an unprecedented multiple-organ transplant on a child, Angela received a liver, two kidneys and a pancreas, doctors said.

The operation -- the first time a transplant has been used to treat the disorder --  "might offer some hope for these children with this rare syndrome, that life can be prolonged, hopefully in a very meaningful way," Dr. Andreas Tzakis, transplant surgeon, told msnbc.com Thursday. Tzakis is the chief of the liver and digestive tract program at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

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