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W.Va. family appears on national TV

April 30, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Ten-year-old Jordy Carper, who hopes to undergo a rare lung transplant operation to help him fight cystic fibrosis, appeared before a national television audience Wednesday morning to tell his story.

Jordy's mother, Melissa Carper and grandmother, who wish to donate part of their lungs to the Hedgesville, W.Va., boy, also appeared with Jordy on ABC's "Good Morning America."

The Carpers were asked how they felt about the operation after they were told what they will go through.

Jordy's grandmother, 51-year-old Sherilyn Barnhart, seemed unfazed by the procedure, even though it will reduce her lung capacity by about 20 percent.


"It will be fine," Barnhart said. "We will do whatever we need to."

Sitting on a couch between his mother and grandmother, Jordy was asked how he feels about their decision to donate lung tissue. "I felt really good about it," he said.

"Good Morning America" conducted the interview from the Carpers' home along Spring Mills Road in northern Berkeley County.

Jordy also talked about his invitation to actor Jim Carrey's home for dinner. The comedian is one of Jordy's favorite actors.

Cystic fibrosis is a fatal congenital disease among children that causes the lungs to deteriorate. Patients usually receive lung transplants from deceased donors, but there's a long waiting list for the organs and often they're too late, said Jordy's mother.

Carper and her mother hope Jordy will be admitted to Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles, where the Tuscarora Elementary School student could receive one lobe from each of their lungs. Carper said there are ethical concerns about the operation because two people are put at risk compared to one.

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