Texas Mom Approved For Double Arm Transplant At Brigham, Now Needs Donor

Katy Hayes and daughter

. (Photo via BWH)

This just in from Brigham and Women’s Hospital:

Boston, MA – Following completion of a rigorous pre-operative evaluation, Katy Hayes, of Kingwood, TX, has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) for a bilateral arm transplant. BWH is working in collaboration with the New England Organ Bank (NEOB) who will now actively search for an appropriate donor for Hayes.

Hayes, 43, who became a quadruple amputee in 2010 following a life threatening Group A Streptococcal (GAS) infection, will hold a press conference with her surgeons at BWH to share her story and discuss the procedure. She hopes to become the first in the nation to receive a bilateral arm transplant above the elbow.

See the Brigham’s full cornucopia of multi-media information, including photos, video, and fact-sheet, here. Here is Katy’s own blog, and here she is on the Anderson Cooper show last year.

Brigham & Women’s Visuals Of Double Hand Transplant

If you’re fascinated by the major, cutting-edge transplants done at Brigham and Women’s Hospital lately, check out their generous supply of visuals from the latest: a double hand transplant announced today.

The Brigham’s Webpage with an array of video and photos is here, and their “B-roll” video — footage meant as background for a voice-over — of the patient, Richard Mangino, and his transplant journey is here.

What’s Wrong With Steve Jobs?

With Apple’s Steve Jobs back on leave to “focus on his health,” medical speculation is rife. The Los Angeles Times reports here that experts say the decision “was probably triggered either by an infection, a rejection episode related to his recent liver transplant or, most likely, a recurrence of his pancreatic cancer.”

But all cautioned that these are just educated guesses because so few details about his medical condition have been made public. “If we don’t know more, it is all speculation,” said Dr. Heinz-Josef Lenz, a gastrointestinal oncologist at USC’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. “But we worry the tumor is back.”

Here in Boston, our friends at report here that:

The medical specifics of Jobs’ current medical condition were not revealed but, as we reported, Jobs underwent a liver transplant in June 2009. He also underwent treatment for an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor in 2004. This bit of health news is frequently reported as him having had pancreatic cancer, but as we have reported on several occasions, these are two completely different tumors. Although they both originate in pancreatic cells, the cells look and function differently, and have different prognoses.

Check out their earlier article setting the record straight that Jobs did not have “pancreatic cancer.”

All informed speculation welcome — news reports today talk about Apple having a deep bench, but still…

‘On Point’ At 10 Today: Arizona Transplant Cuts

A commenter on “On Point”‘s website remarks:

“Death panels” are part of our future, whether you are a lefty or rightie. We are declining and going broke, and that means telling the 95 year old with CHF that a double knee replacement just doesn’t make any sense.
Welcome to the Brave (ugly) new world.

Indeed. Tune in at 10 for On Point’s hour on “Health Care, Budgets and Arizona’s ‘Death Panels.'” For background, a New York Times story about the Arizona decision and the backlash is here.

It reports:

Arizonans who received such transplants, and are alive and well as a result of them, are questioning the data that lawmakers relied on to make their controversial benefit cuts.

“They say it’s too expensive,” said Star Boelter, 52, who had a stem cell transplant that was paid for by Arizona’s Medicaid program in 2009 after suffering from leukemia. “Well, how much is life worth? They say most people die. Well, I’m alive because of my transplant.”

And here’s the On Point lineup:

Jocelyn Guyer, Co-Executive Director, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Family and Children.

Kim Vega, sister of Douglas Gravagna, who in 2006 was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and this summer qualified for a heart transplant. In October Douglas learned that Arizona would not fund his transplant. He is hoping to raise $300,000 through the National Transplant Assistance Fund – or NTAF – so he can get on a list to get a new heart.

Monica Coury, Assistant Director, Office of Intergovernmental Relations, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, which is Arizona’s Medicaid Agency.