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February 24, 1984

A granddaughter's distress leads to lymphedema aid

JAMA. 1984;251(8):1002-1007. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340320004002

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Love may not always be enough. But combined with an understanding of fluid dynamics, a grandfather's love has led to the development of a device that gives young victims of a rare form of chronic lymphedema their first opportunity to live a normal life.

At the recent American Academy of Dermatology meeting in Chicago, dermatologist Guinter Kahn, MD, of North Miami Beach, Fla, presented the case of an 11-year-old girl with Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome—now controlled with use of the Wright linear pump.

Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome, a congenital condition of unknown cause, is characterized by hemihypertrophy of soft tissue (usually of an extremity) and, in some cases, of the skeleton as well. Patients have vascular and lymphatic overgrowth. Open lesions that can lead to osteomyelitis and eventual limb loss are common. There is no cure, and victims have been doomed to lonely and immobile lives because of both social ostracism and the difficulty