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Jordy improving after transplant

June 25, 1997

By SAMANTHA KRULEWITZ

Staff Writer

Jordy Carper continued to improve Tuesday, five days after the Hedgesville, W.Va., youngster underwent a double lung transplant.

A respirator tube was removed from Jordy's throat Monday afternoon.

"He's doing pretty well. He's out of bed and sitting in a chair," Steve Rutledge, spokesman for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, said Tuesday. "He's able to breathe on his own and cough. It's important for kids to be able to clear their passages."

Jordy, 10, received two lung lobes from living donors in a four-hour operation on June 19.

Rutledge said that the lung lobe donors - family friend Vicki Koher and Debbie Schoenadel, Jordy's second cousin - also were doing well.

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He said Koher might be released from the hospital today, "but Debbie is slow in her recovery and will be there a little longer."

The lobes replaced Jordy's diseased lungs. The youngster suffers from cystic fibrosis, which produces a thick mucus in the lungs that can cause infection and lead to death by suffocation.

Doctors had given Jordy a year to live without the operation.

Rutledge said Jordy, the son of Melissa Carper, is not ready to start eating the Popsicles he has asked for.

"It's a watching process for the next couple of weeks," Rutledge said. "We're in kind of a honeymoon period. We can't say that the body has accepted it (the lung lobes)."

A body's rejection of an organ is a danger in transplants.

After a few weeks, Jordy will be moved out of ICU, Rutledge said. Hospital personnel will continue to monitor him for signs that his body might be rejecting the lung lobes.

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