More than four years after she received the world's first simultaneous heart-liver transplant, 11-year-old Stormie Jones' "normal" life is about to become complicated again.
Stormie's body is rejecting her donor liver, and the Dallas youngster returned to Pittsburgh Wednesday, where she was admitted to Children's Hospital, the site of her historic transplant, hospital officials said."She was jaundiced and is experiencing itchiness, erratic sleeping patterns and nausea, all indications of liver complications," hospital spokeswoman Sue Cardillo said. "She did say, "Mom, I'm hungry, and I hope I don't have to eat hospital food."
Cardillo said Stormie was listed in fair condition and will be evaluated overthe next few days by transplant pioneer Dr. Thomas Starzl, who transplanted the liver in the initial Feb. 14, 1984,operation.
Now-retired Dr. Henry Bahnson transplanted the heart.
Stormie suffers from a genetic disorder that made her first liver unable to process cholesterol. The disorder, called homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, caused her cholesterol level to soar, clogging her arteries with the waxy yellow substance and leading to her first heart attack in 1983. By age 7, Stormie had undergone two triple bypasses and a heart valve replacement.
The double transplant was considered Stormie's only chance to live. She received the heart and liver from a 4-year-old girl on Valentine's Day 1984.
After the operation, she returned to her home in White Settlement, near Fort Worth, Texas, and resumed school and a near normal life except for occasional attention from the news and frequent checkups to monitor her condition.