Since the discovery of gene-altering cells, it seems cancer treatments are seeing a whole new level of success. For Marian Fields, who suffered from a rare skin cancer with limited treatment options, getting better didn’t seem possible. That is, until she and her twin sister Mary Jane underwent a successful skin transplant.
Dr Jesse Selber, a plastic surgeon from the MD Anderson Cancer Centre at the University of Texas… said the surgery was “incredibly challenging and complex”.
His team of five plastic surgeons removed skin, tissue and blood vessels from Mary Jane’s abdomen and transplanted it to Marian’s back, connecting eight different arteries and veins under a microscope during surgery.
The hole in Marian’s back was 21.5in by 8.5in, making it one of the largest tissue transplantations on record.
Surgeons were concerned that the skin would be rejected and that the cancer would recur. However, because it was not the type to spread to other parts of the body, the Fields sisters remained positive.
“There was never a moment of hesitation when the option to donate skin and tissue was a possibility,” Mary Jane said.
“I had what she needed. We are two bodies with one soul. She is my other self.”
The surgery, which took 14 hours, was ultimately a success. It even provided Mary Jane with a free tummy tuck. That’s what I call selfless, sisterly love.