Girl who received windpipe made from stem cells dies

In this April 26, 2013 photo provided by OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Ill., Darryl Warren and Lee Young-mi visit with their 2-year-old daughter Hannah Warren in a post-op room at Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria after having received a new windpipe in a landmark transplant operation April 9, 2013. Hannah was born in South Korea without a windpipe but received a new one made from her own stem cells. She is the youngest patient ever to get the experimental treatment. Doctors announced Tuesday, April 30, 2013, she is recovering and likely will lead a normal life. (Courtesy of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Jim Carlson)

July 8, 2013 1:44:24 PM PDT
Hannah Warren, the toddler who underwent a successful trachea transplant surgery in April, died over the weekend. She would have turned 3 in August.

Hannah, who died on July 6, 2013, was "unable to overcome additional health issues that were identified as her care progressed," according to Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria. On April 9, 2013, a windpipe made from her own stem cells was implanted into Hannah's trachea. Until the surgery, she was unable to breathe, eat or swallow on her own, and had spent her entire life in a hospital in South Korea.

The Children's Hospital of Illinois released a statement July 8 that read in part, "Although regenerative medicine remains in the early stages for pediatric patients, progress is being made. Hannah, and the physicians caring for her, helped advance this area of medical practice which is only at its very beginning stages. Even at this time of loss and grief, we, and Hannah's family, take comfort in the knowledge that the efforts of her physicians and the care team working with them will benefit and serve other children and adults in the years to come."

Only about one in 50,000 children worldwide are born with a windpipe defect. Hannah was the youngest patient to undergo the stem cell treatment.