Dr. Paolo Macchiarini of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, is pushing the boundaries of the emerging field of regenerative medicine, which could eliminate the need for donor organs, which are in short supply all over the globe.
But for now, there is only one surgeon in the world who is doing transplants in humans with artificially grown organs. Patients come to the controversial surgeon because he is literally their only hope.
Little Hannah Warren. Born without a trachea and unable to breathe on her own, she had spent her entire life in the hospital, kept alive only by a tube. No child with her disorder has ever lived past the age of six, and Dr. Macchiarini's artificial trachea was her only hope.
Linda Carroll is a regular contributor to NBC News. She writes about health and science and her work has appeared in The Science Times, Newsday and The Los Angeles Times as well as national magazines including Smart Money and Health. She is coauthor of "The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic" and the recently released "Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing's Greatest Rivalry." She lives in rural New Jersey.