After long 600 days in the clinic: Young patient is transplanted lung and liver

Approximately 8,000 cystic fibrosis patients in Germany
Cystic fibrosis is a congenital metabolic disease. In Germany alone, around 8,000 people suffer from the incurable disease, which makes viscous body secretions. Sarah Schönhoff from Mirow( Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) is one of them. The young woman got a new lung and liver transplanted because of the disease at the German Heart Center Berlin( DHZB).But she is not healed by it.

In Berlin, a young woman was transplanted with a lung and liver. The patient suffers from cystic fibrosis, a congenital and incurable metabolic disease. After almost 600 days she was able to leave the hospital.(Photo: Zerbor /

Average life expectancy of 40 years
Characteristic of hereditary disease is the limited functioning of the mucus-forming glands in the body, resulting in a very viscous mucus affecting in particular the lung function, but also the digestive organs. The lungs stick together and are extremely prone to infection, breathing is becoming more and more obstructed.

The severity of the disease can vary enormously. Since the treatment options are better the earlier the disease is detected, my experts have for years been calling for cystic fibrosis screening for babies.

    • liver also getting older
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    Meanwhile, in this country in the so-called neonatal screening and a study for cystic fibrosis can be made. Children with cystic fibrosis can often be treated well.

    Life expectancy is continuously increasing thanks to advanced therapies and ever earlier diagnosis. Currently, the average life expectancy of cystic fibrosis patients is around 40 years. But not all reach such an age.

    retired at the beginning of 20
    Sarah Schönhoff from Mirow in Mecklenburg discovered shortly before her fourth birthday that she is suffering from cystic fibrosis, the German Heart Center Berlin( DHZB) reports in a statement. She had previously been repeatedly treated for severe bronchitis.

    The girl had to learn to live with the disease. She said, "Daily inhalations, breathing training, that just belonged to normal life for me."

    Although she has to go to the hospital again and again, she effortlessly attains middle school maturity and is trained to become a Federal Police Assistant, taking over and working2010 in Potsdam.

    For one year everything is fine, but then the disease becomes more and more noticeable, which is why she reduces her working time. After a severe fungal infection, she is permanently on sick leave, in August 2013, she finally retires - at the beginning of 20.

    A question of days
    "As a cystic fibrosis patient, you know that it can come at some point," said the patient, "but that it happened so early on me, that was bitter. Because the job was great fun for me ".

    Sarah Schönhoff moves back to her hometown, where she is about a year and a half comparatively well, until mid-March 2015 because of a flu inpatient in the Virchow Hospital of the Berlin Charité is taken, where she has been treated for years.

    Because cystic fibrosis has irreparably damaged not only the lungs but also her liver, she is on the waiting list for a double transplant.

    In early December, the condition of the patient deteriorates dramatically. It must be connected to a machine that replaces the respiratory function of the lungs."It becomes a matter of days, whether Sarah Schönhoff can still be saved by a transplant," it says in the message.

    New Lung and Liver Used
    In mid-December comes the news that there are matching organs."My biggest wish was that I would be transplanted before Christmas," said Schönhoff, "and maybe someone has heard that."

    It will be brought to the German Heart Center Berlin( DHZB), where hearts and lungs can be transplanted. It has been reported that a combined lung and liver transplant has been performed only 14 times nationwide over the past 10 years.

    Physicians are aware that surgery is particularly risky given Sarah's condition. But it is the only chance for the patient.

    On December 16, she will be given a new liver and lung in a 19-hour surgery. The patient is not yet saved: "The work of the team in the intensive care unit depends as much on the patient as the success of the procedure itself. We knew that the first days and weeks could become critical," said DHZB surgeon Christoph Knosalla,

    Organ donation has saved the lives of young women
    Together with doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and psychologists Sarah Schönhoff is now on the laborious way back to life. Because she was barely able to breathe before the transplantation, her respiratory muscles are regressed as well as the muscles of her legs. And she has to learn to trust the new lung.

    Again and again there are serious complications."But I never thought of giving up," the young woman said, "neither before nor after the transplant."

    She often thinks of the unknown donor of her lungs and liver."I do not know if it was a man or a woman, I do not know where and how this person lived. But I know he donated his organs to me and saved my life. "

    " A transplant was the only chance to save her, "Knosalla said, according to a news agency dpa. But a new lung alone would not have helped. Cystic fibrosis also attacks other organs: "It threatened acute liver failure, you can not survive."

    After 587 days Sarah Schönhoff has been discharged from the hospital. She knows that the transplant did not cure her of her congenital condition. She is also aware that there can always be setbacks. But she does not want to think about that now. But just enjoy your new life.(ad)

organ transplants in their early 20s: Young woman receives new liver and lung
A young woman was transplanted a lung and liver in Berlin. According to doctors, double transplantation was the only way to save the patient's life. She suffers from cystic fibrosis, a congenital and incurable metabolic disease. After 587 days, the young woman was released from the hospital.

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