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Boy With New Lungs Listed Critical

April 6, 1998

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) _ An 11-year-old boy who survived a rare double lung transplant was fighting for his life Monday against a collapsed lung and an infection.

Jordy Carper, who had cystic fibrosis, was in critical condition in the intensive care unit at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The fifth-grader was rushed to the hospital Thursday.

Doctors in Los Angeles replaced his diseased lungs last June with healthy lung lobes from a relative and a family friend.

He returned briefly to classes in January, but a month later doctors found a spot on one of his lungs and he had to drop out for more treatment.

``At that time it was thought to be (a sign of) rejection, but it was cleared up,″ said Larry Hoerner, the boy’s home tutor in Hedgesville.

Without the operation, Jordy would have died within a year, doctors said.

Hoerner said they spent 90 minutes on schoolwork together Wednesday night and he saw no sign of trouble.

``He was all fired up. He knows that when he gets to sixth grade next year, he wants to be where everybody else is,″ Hoerner said.

In frustration and fear at the hospital, an angry Jordy ripped out his tubes, Hoerner said. Doctors were forced to sedate him, he said.

``He’s become disoriented and scared,″ Hoerner said.

Jordy’s illness prompted an outpouring of support, from airline officials who donated tickets to hotel managers who offered rooms.

Last November, Gov. Cecil Underwood proclaimed ``Jordy Carper Day″ in honor of the boy’s ``determination, grit and unfailing sense of humor.″

Cystic fibrosis is America’s most prevalent fatal inherited disease, with 30,000 people afflicted. It attacks the lungs by producing a thick mucus that can cause infection and lead to death by suffocation.

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