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4-year-old doing well after multiple transplants

Published Oct. 1, 2005

A 4-year-old Idaho girl who got a new liver, stomach, pancreas and large and small intestine was in critical condition Tuesday but was regaining her strength.

"So far, it looks like all the organs are functioning," said Dr. Andreas Tzakis, who performed the 12-hour operation Monday at Jackson Memorial Hospital. "She's still in very critical condition but appears to be recovering."

Julianne Prudhomme of Caldwell, Idaho, had multiple intestinal atresia, a narrowing of the intestines, which led to the malfunctioning of the other organs.

She had four surgeries in her first year to remove most of her intestinal tract and if not for the transplant, doctors said she probably would have died.

"Most of the intestine needed to be removed because of a congenital problem," said Tzakis, adding that she developed complications that required the additional transplants.

Julianne had been on a waiting list for organs in Pittsburgh and Omaha, Neb., for months. She was put on the waiting list at Jackson on Friday, and the organs became available Sunday.

Tzakis said 11 patients at Jackson have had multiple organ transplants and seven are still alive.

Doctors said Julianne, who received the organs from a child who died in an accident, may have to stay at the hospital for months. But she was off to a good start, they said.

"She's very ill and at risk of fatal complication, but it looks pretty safe from this standpoint," said Dr. Charles Schleien, one of her doctors. "She hasn't required any transfusions and it has been almost 24 hours."