A 5-week old Southern California girl is battling to stay alive as a result of a rare lung disease.

On Monday Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the girl's parents made an appeal for a lung donor who would likely save Katelyn Policastro's life. If it happens, it would be a global first for a child with Katelyn's rare affliction, doctors say.

The typically fatal disease is called alveolar capillary dysplasia (ACD) and results in a lack of oxygen and pulmonary hypertension, according to the hospital, which states it is “typically fatal.” But …

… if Katelyn can find a suitable lung donor, she could be able to survive.

Childrens Hopsital spokesman Brian Greene told the Weekly that she's been stabilized but remains in critical condition. “She's in a battle here,” he said.

Her Camarillo-based parents issued the appeal through Childrens, with father Marc Policastro stating:

Today, we are reaching out to the public on behalf of Katelyn. 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.

Childrens Hospital doctors say there are only about 90 cases of ACD worldwide, and that if Katelyn gets a lung it will be a worldwide first. According to a hospital statement …

… If a donor match is located, Katelyn would be the first ACD patient to ever receive a lung transplant.

Doctor Philippe Friedlich says:

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.

Want to make history? Contact Childrens Hospital at 323-361-5932.


LA Weekly