Archive for Monday, January 22, 1996

TRANSPLANT PATIENT GETS USED TO HEART

January 22, 1996

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The condition of a Lawrence girl was improving following a heart transplant operation on Saturday.

A Lawrence girl who underwent a heart transplant operation early Saturday was "doing fantastic" on Sunday, said a nursing supervisor at the St. Louis hospital where the operation was performed.

Four-year-old Rose Naughtin was in critical but stable condition after undergoing a heart transplant at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Rose was taken off a ventilator Sunday morning, said her mother, Paula.

"She's doing fine so far," Paula Naughtin said.

Rose, the daughter of Paula and John Naughtin, needed the transplant because her own heart had a rare disorder. She was placed on a national transplant waiting list in December.

Paula Naughtin said Rose has been take off sedatives and is "in and out" of consciousness.

She said the family wasn't sure exactly what the next steps in Rose's recovery will be.

"We just kind of have to let her take the lead," she said. "It's a big adjustment. Her body is used to her old heart. Both the new heart and her body have to get used to each other."

She also wanted to convey a message to friends and supporters in Lawrence: "Thanks for all the support. We really appreciate it."

The family was alerted that a heart was available about 5:45 p.m. Friday through a telephone call.

At 8:40 p.m., another caller from the transplant team instructed the Naughtins to be at Lawrence Municipal Airport in an hour.

Rose, her parents and two family friends boarded a chartered turboprop there at 9:45 p.m.

About an hour later, the plane landed in St. Louis. The four-hour transplant operation began early Saturday, and Rose was placed in the hospital's intensive care unit afterward.

Employees at Community Mercantile Co-op, 901 Miss., held a fund-raiser for the family Saturday.

About $1,700 was raised in the fund-raiser, which included money collected in a donation jar, 5 percent of the business' sales on Saturday and sales of T-shirts.

"It was astonishing, because it was just a one-day thing," said Nancy O'Connor, Community Mercantile's community outreach coordinator and a friend of the Naughtins.

"It was just an outpouring from the community and a strong show of support."

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