Six Organs Removed To Eliminate Tumor
Brooke Zepp was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma – a rare form of cancer. But the “inoperable” tumor was buried deep in 63-year-old’s abdomen. Brooke’s stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver, and small and large intestines were blocking access to the cancerous mass that was wrapped around her aorta and other major arteries. There was only one way to get to the tumor, and that was by removing all six organs.
UM/Jackson physician Dr. Tomoaki Kato had to do what many thought couldn’t be done. Dr. Kato, a pioneer in multi-organ transplantation, along with a team of eight additional surgeons, essentially had to empty Brooke’s abdomen. Her organs were removed, chilled, and preserved during a painstaking 15-hour operation at Jackson Memorial. Then, the surgeons cut out the tumor and repaired the surrounding blood vessels.
After the successful tumor removal, the organs were re-implanted. Three weeks later, Brooke went home to continue her recovery.
The surgery was unprecedented at the time; never before had six organs been removed from a patient’s abdomen to allow doctors to go after a malignant growth considered inoperable.
May. 1970 Jackson History
Victims of McDuffie Riots Flood Emergency Room. Link opens story page.
In 1980, Jackson Memorial Hospital‘s emergency room was flooded with 200 patients injured during the McDuffie riots.Explore in story page.
Apr. 1946 Jackson History
Jackson’s First Chief of Staff, Dr. Skaggs, Dies. Link opens story page.
In 1946, Jackson’s First Chief of Staff, Dr. Skaggs, died. He was a pioneer physician, treating minorities during a time of deep segregation.Explore in story page.
Jun. 2017 Miracle Stories
Five-Year-Old Saved After Drunk Driver Strikes Car. Link opens story page.
After a drunk driver stuck the car she was riding in, five-year-old Avril Ochoa suffered a severe head injury and went into cardiac arrest.Explore in story page.