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Doctors: Surgery Confirms Child Doing Well

December 5, 1988

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Exploratory surgery Sunday confirmed a 3-year-old New Mexico girl is progressing well less than a week after undergoing a rare, five-organ transplant, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Rolandrea Dodge of Fruitland, N.M., was in critical condition Sunday night in the intensive care unit of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Rolandrea, who’s known as Rolly, received a new liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine and part of a large intestine during 16 1/2 hours of surgery that ended Tuesday.

She was breathing with the help of a respirator following the exploratory surgery, which lasted less than three hours Sunday morning, said the spokeswoman, Sue Cardillo. The child’s parents, Cyndi and Branden Dodge, were at her bedside.

″The exploratory surgery allowed (doctors) to go inside and make sure the suture lines are healing right and to see how the organs are healing,″ Ms. Cardillo said. ″The organs are functioning. The sutures were fine.

″They had gone in with the hope that everything was fine and that’s exactly what they found.″

Rolly was born with an incurable disease that prevented her intestines from absorbing food and liquids. Her high-protein intravenous feedings caused her liver to fail.

She was placed on the waiting list for a suitable donor after an experimental drug failed to improve her condition.

Of the few patients who have undergone five-organ transplants, Tabatha Foster of Madisonville, Ky., lived the longest. She died at the age of 3 1/2 in May, six months after her landmark operation at Children’s Hospital.

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