Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Baby for 5-organ transplant patient

Fatema Al Ansari of Qatar places her baby Alkadi Alhayal in a pram following a news conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital(AP)

A woman believed to be the first known five-organ transplant patient to deliver a baby has spoken of her joy.

Fatema Al Ansari, 26, was given a new liver, pancreas, stomach and small and large intestine at a hospital in Miami, Florida, in 2007.

Five years later, she gave birth on February 26 at the same hospital, Jackson Memorial, with her transplant doctor on a team closely watching.

"It's a hard feeling to express," the new mother said of the Caesarean birth of a healthy girl, who weighed 4lb 7oz. "It's the best feeling in the world," she said in Arabic, her words translated by an interpreter.

Little Alkadi Alhayal, snuggling in a white blanket and white cap, slept quietly in her mother's arms while her parents spoke to reporters at the hospital.

Mrs Al Ansari, who lives in Qatar and plans to return home in the coming weeks, was there when at 19 she was diagnosed with a blood clot in a major vein to the intestine, requiring transplant surgery.

Just over 600 five-organ transplants have been recorded as of 2011, according to the latest figures available from the Intestinal Transplant Association.

The most recent annual report by the National Transplantation Pregnancy Registry also indicates she is the first reported case of a five-organ transplant patient in the world to give birth.

Dr Shalih Yasin, Mrs Al Ansari's obstetrician , said there had been some cases in Europe of births by transplant patients who had two organs "but not five". Dr Yasin said an adult with five transplanted organs healthy enough to even consider having a child "is a miracle by itself".

Mrs Al Ansari was forced to terminate a previous pregnancy early on after her diagnosis, which made her think she would never be able to get pregnant. She said her husband, Khalifa Alhayal, gave her hope to realise her dream and they became parents through IVF. Her recent pregnancy was considered high-risk and she was monitored closely by her team of transplant doctors and gynaecologists in Miami.

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