Miracle-worker surgeon becomes first Pole in history awarded prestigious fellowship

Professor Adam Maciejewski was recognized by the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery for completely rebuilding the internal organs of a six-year-old boy’s neck. Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

Miracle surgeon Adam Maciejewski has been awarded the prestigious Godina fellowship for his ground-breaking multi-organ transplants.

The professor from the Oncology Centre in Gliwice was recognized by the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM) as the first Pole in history for completely rebuilding the internal organs of a six-year-old boy’s neck by transplanting a new larynx, trachea and throat, as well as bone marrow.

The surgeon’s entire team took part in a symposium on reconstructive surgery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for several days, discussing developments in their field with the best doctors of this specialty from all over the world.Śląska Liga Walki z Rakiem/Facebook

As a 13-month-old baby little Tymek swallowed toxic chemicals which burned his throat and made it impossible for him to even learn how to talk.

Thanks to Professor Maciejewski and his team, the child not only received an entire set of new organs, but also bone marrow, which will eliminate the need for taking immunosuppressive drugs all his life.

Tymek swallowed chemicals used for unclogging pipes which destroyed all of his internal organs from his throat down to his stomach.Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

In addition to the one-of-its-kind surgery, Maciejewski was recognised by the ASRM for his work on transplanting a larynx, a muscle tube connecting the throat to the stomach, a windpipe with parathyroid glands, and layers of neck skin and muscle structures onto a 37-year-old man in 2015, and carrying out a complex face transplant in 2013.

All three surgeries received ASRM’s awards in the ‘Best Case’ category.

Maciejewski was also recognised for carrying out the first face transplant in Poland and the first in the world for life indications in an operation that lasted 27 hours.Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

Prof. Maciejewski told TVN24: “It is a great honour and pleasure to be honoured by a group of reconstructive and microvascular surgeons, whose convention is currently taking place.

“This award will allow me to be ASRM’s ambassador for a year and visit the most prestigious centres in the world.”

Professor Adam Maciejewski received the honour from the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery in Fort Lauderdale.Bartosz Mańkowski/Facebook

The surgeon’s entire team took part in a symposium on reconstructive surgery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for several days, discussing developments in their field with the best doctors of this specialty from all over the world.

The Godina Fellowship is named after Slovenian Marko Godina, a pioneer of reconstructive microsurgery.

Maciejewski is head of the Department of Oncologic and Reconstructive Surgery in Gliwice.Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

The Godina Travelling Fellow, described by ASRM as “promising, upcoming, committed surgeons, who will, through study and investigation, continue to expand the horizons of our field”, by spending a year travelling to American and other institutions to further his knowledge and skills, with all costs covered by a stipend.

Out of several hundred applications, only one person each year is chosen for the fellowship.