The woman who donated the uterus might be long gone, but a baby girl born from the donated organ is alive and well.
For the first time in U.S. history, a mother who received a womb transplant from a dead donor gave birth to a healthy baby.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome,” said Dr. Uma Perni, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. “Everything went wonderfully with the delivery; the mother and baby girl are doing great.”
Transplant surgeon Dr. Andreas Tzakis added, “It was amazing how perfectly normal this delivery was, considering how extraordinary the occasion.”
The journey began in 2017, when the mother in her mid-30s received the uterus transplant from the deceased donor. The Cleveland Clinic said their trial specifically uses the organ of a deceased donor, to eliminate risk to any healthy living donor.
About a year later, in 2018, the mother became pregnant via IVF.
For the duration of her pregnancy, she was cared for by a team of specialists in transplant surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, fertility, neonatology, bioethics, psychiatry, nursing, anesthesiology, infectious diseases, interventional radiology, patient advocacy and social work.
She gave birth via cesarean section in June after a successful pregnancy.
“We are grateful to the donor and her family, their generosity allowed our patient’s dream to come true and a new baby to be born,” Tzakis said.
There have since been five additional uterus transplants – three of which were successful and two of which have ended in hysterectomies – and researchers aim to complete the study on a total of 10 women.