MILWAUKEE (4/24/2012) - Children's Hospital of Wisconsin recently performed a rare double organ transplant to save the life of Thomas Castillo, a 15-year-old Illinois boy with complex congenital heart disease and liver failure.
A multidisciplinary team at Children's Hospital replaced Castillo's two organs during a 17-hour surgery. James Tweddell, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon, performed the heart transplantation. David Cronin, MD, PhD, FACS, abdominal transplant surgeon, performed the liver transplantation.
This is the first heart-liver transplant performed on a child, birth to age 17, in Wisconsin and only the 10th ever performed on a child in the U.S. Multiple organ transplants are tracked by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, where the most current data lists transplants performed Jan. 1, 1988, through Jan. 31, 2012.
"Not only are we transplanting more patients than ever before, but data shows survival rates of our patients are among the highest in the nation," said Steve Zangwill, MD, program director of Pediatric Heart Failure and Heart Transplantation and a pediatric cardiologist at Children's Hospital's Herma Heart Center. Children's Hospital is ranked No. 6 in the nation for pediatric heart transplant volume in 2010, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.
"Families dealing with the overwhelming nature of a chronic childhood disease need innovative care and strong, integrated support. We are one of the largest pediatric liver transplant centers in Wisconsin and follow the most children with liver disease in the state," said Cronin. Castillo's transplant care involved dedicated operating room teams, anesthesia, critical care physicians and nurses, social work, psychology, dietitians, pharmacists, child life, laboratory and imaging.
About Thomas Castillo
Castillo had three heart surgeries before he was listed for a heart transplant in 2009. In 2011, he developed a liver insufficiency. In January 2012, he was listed for a heart and liver transplant and received the life-saving transplant in late February.
Castillo suffered two strokes – one before and one after his transplant. His medical recovery has been remarkable, and he continues to make amazing progress with occupational, physical and speech therapy. He will leave Children's Hospital on April 24. Click here for more photos of Castillo and family interviews.
About David Cronin II, MD, PhD, FACS
David Cronin II, MD, PhD, FACS, is director of the Liver Transplant Program at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin. He specializes in liver and kidney transplantation. He has performed deceased donor, live donor, split and reduced-size liver transplants since 1995. Cronin has performed more than 600 liver transplants in adult and pediatric recipients.
About James Tweddell, MD
James Tweddell, MD, is medical director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Tweddell has performed more than 200 heart transplants. Last July, he was one of the physicians on the panel that presented findings to the FDA resulting in approval of the use of the Berlin Heart, a bridge to transplant.
About Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is the region's only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. The hospital, with locations in Milwaukee and Neenah, Wis., is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States and was named one of America's Best Children's Hospitals by U.S.News & World Report. Children's provides primary care, specialty care, urgent care, emergency care, community health services, foster and adoption services, child and family counseling, child advocacy services and family resource centers. In 2010, Children's invested more than $105 million in the community to improve the health status of children through medical care, advocacy, education and pediatric medical research. Children's achieves its mission in part through donations from individuals, corporations and foundations and is proud to be a Children's Miracle Network Hospital. For more information, visit the website at chw.org.