The thymus is a small glandular structure that regulates the immune system. Without this vital organ, a baby will often die within the first year from a simple bacterial or viral infection.
Three years ago, Marianne Ifversen, a Danish senior doctor at Rigshospital, found out that a boy brought in to see her didn’t have one. Fortunately, this is an extremely rare condition.
The boy is now one of 12 European children who have received experimental transplant surgery to remedy this deficiency, reports Videnskab.dk.
“The transplantation is very close to the ‘cutting edge’, but it succeeded and the boy now has an immune system that has stabilised and can fight viral and bacterial infections,” said Ifversen.
As a result of the operation, he is expected to be able to manage for the rest of his life without any preventive medicines.
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