A woman who was told at age 16 that she would never be able to give birth to children became the first in the U.S. to receive a uterus transplant late last month, and on Monday, she met the press for the first time. Doctors who performed the operation say she’s been doing well since receiving the transplant on February 25 in Cleveland.
The woman, who was identified only as Lindsey, told reporters during a press conference at the Cleveland Clinic, where the surgery was performed, that 10 years ago she was given a hopeless diagnosis — that she would never be able to give birth to children. She’s gone on to adopt three children, but has always held out hope for a medical miracle and said that “from that moment on I have prayed that God would allow me the opportunity to experience pregnancy. And here we are today, at the beginning of that journey.”
Lindsey, like all 10 of the women who have qualified for the clinical trial being performed by the Cleveland Clinic, has fully functioning ovaries that produce eggs but no uterus. The uterus came from a deceased organ donor. Indeed, Lindsey has taken an unprecedented step, but she still has a long road in front of her. Over the next year, she’ll be constantly monitored by doctors to ensure that her body has accepted the transplanted uterus and that the uterus is ultimately healthy enough to sustain a pregnancy. “We must remember a uterine transplant is not just about a surgery and about moving a uterus from here to there. It’s about having a healthy baby,” said Cleveland Clinic surgeon Rebecca Flyckt, one of the doctors on the historic team. For more commentary from Flyckt and an animated illustration of how surgeons performed the historic surgery, watch the video below.
Once doctors give Lindsey the go-ahead to get pregnant, they will use in vitro fertilization to implant frozen embryos made using her eggs prior to Lindsey undergoing the transplant surgery. Doctors will then remove the uterus after one or two births so Lindsey won’t have to continue taking anti-rejection drugs for the remainder of her life.
Read the full story at The Associated Press.