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Parents lungs give life to daughter

LOS ANGELES -- A young woman with cystic fibrosis -- a lethal lung disease -- and her parents were recovering Saturday from pioneer surgery in which the parents each donated potions of their lungs to give their child a chance at a longer life.

Doctors said all three were in improved condition at the USC University Hospital following the first double lobar lung transplant.

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Surgeons Friday transplanted lung segments from both parents into their 22-year-old daughter, whose lungs were failing as a result of scarring from cystic fibrosis.

USC University Hospital spokeswoman Sylvia Kelly said parents James and Barbara Sewell of Quartz Hill, Calif., were 'awake and alert' Saturday morning after the five-hour double lobar lung transplant.

Their daughter, Stacy, was reported in upgraded critical but stable condition at the hospital.

Dr. Vaughn A. Starnes said it was the first time a living donor has been used to treat a cystic fibrosis patient. Varnes performed the surgery, which also was the first in which two donors were used in a lung transplant.

Starnes is a long-time pioneer in lung transplants. At a Friday news conference, the surgeon said the new procedure could have what he called very important long-term impact because of the shortage of organ donors.

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He took only one of the five lung lobes from each parent. Starnes transplanted the lower left lung lobe of James, 55, and the lower right lobe of Barbara, 49, and transplanted them into their daughter.

Doctors said every breath has been a struggle for Stacy Sewell, who had been in and out of hospitals for the past year.

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