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World's First Person to Undergo All Major Organ Transplants is British

by Kathy Jones on August 3, 2010 at 10:51 PM
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 World's First Person to Undergo All Major Organ Transplants is British

Doctors say that Allison John is the first person in Europe and possibly in the world to have all her major organs transplanted.

The 32-year-old Cardiff University graduate, who's pursuing a medical career, certainly knows how does it feel to be a patient.


"I strongly believe that if you can't empathize with a patient, you're not a good doctor," the New York Daily News quoted John as saying.

"But after all that I've been through, I think I can use the experiences I've had with both good and bad doctors to help others," she aded.

John was only 14 years old when she experienced liver failure.n September 1995, after waiting for an agonizing 16 months, John got a transplant.

Months later, doctors told her she had lung failure and in August 1997 doctors replaced not just both lungs, but her heart too.

John's healthy heart was taken out with her lungs and given to a man who'd had several heart attacks as part of a "package."

But in April 2005, the young physician in training got to know that the medications she was taking to keep her system from rejecting her transplanted liver, heart and lungs caused kidney failure, and doctors told John she needed yet another transplant.

This time her father, David, 61, was able to be an organ donor.

But since doctors thought she might not survive general anesthesia since she was so frail, John requested an epidural instead and stayed awake for the operation.

"It was a huge gamble, but with my life ebbing away I didn't have anything to lose.

"Lots of people have said that I've had such bad luck but I don't look at it like that. The number of organs for donation is very low and I count myself as one of the lucky ones," she said.

After the 2006 kidney transplant, John continued her medical studies. It took her a total of 13 years to graduate, and she's now got a job as a junior doctor.

"There's no point in worrying about the future when the present is so good," John said.

"The things I've lived through have taught me to treasure the little things in life and to appreciate the here and now, she added.

Source: ANI

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