HOLLYWOOD (CBS) — A five-week-old baby girl remains in critical condition at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Sunday, two days after her parents made a public plea for a lung donor.
Katelyn Policastro suffers from a very rare lung disorder called alveolar capillary dysplasia, better known as ACD. In ACD patients, the lungs’ air sacs are too far away from the blood supply which means not enough oxygen can reach the blood supply. ACD is typically fatal.
“This has been an extremely difficult time for us and we want everyone to know that we appreciate all of the kind words and support we have received,” her father, Marc Policastro, said Friday.
“In order to survive she will need a lung transplant. We hope and pray that if this possibility emerges in the coming days or weeks, we encourage people to contact the medical team at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as soon as possible,” the father added.
“Katelyn is the first patient that I have ever seen with ACD that meets the criteria to be a candidate for a lung transplant that has the potential to save her life,” said Dr. Philippe Friedlich, medical director of the neonatal critical care unit at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Only 90 documented cases of ACD are known throughout the world, according to Dr. Friedlich.
If a donor match is located, Katelyn would be the first ACD patient to ever receive a lung transplant.
The Policastros and Children’s Hospital are asking the public to contact them should a lung donation become available. The transplant unit can be reached at (323) 361-5932.
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)