The birth of a little boy in Dallas, Texas has given the medical community a lot to celebrate. He's the first baby to have been born in the U.S. to a woman with a uterus transplant. Although transplants and subsequent births have been successful overseas in Sweden, this L.O.'s birth marks the first time it's happened here in the States.
The mom was part of a major clinical trial at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, a part of Baylor Scott & White Health, which has been ongoing for a year and a half. According to the health care system's editorial site Scrubbing In, the University is among the first in the U.S. to explore uterus transplantation, which is being studied as a new infertility treatment option for women with absolute uterine factor infertility (AUFI), meaning their uterus is nonfunctioning or nonexistent. All the women in the trial have suffered from AUFI and believed they would never be able to get pregnant.
The participant who just gave birth and her partner have chosen to remain anonymous, but her donor, Taylor Siler, a registered nurse in Dallas, spoke with Time, the first outlet to report on the birth. Siler is a mom of two boys who read about the trial and decided to donate her uterus, as she and her husband decided not to have any more kids. "I have family members who struggled to have babies, and it’s not fair,” Siler told Time. “I just think that if we can give more people that option, that’s an awesome thing.”
Siler didn't know who would be receiving her uterus, but she and the recipient wrote letters to one another -- once on the day of the surgery and another time when the recipient told Siler she was expecting. Finally, Baylor told Siler this week that the woman had given birth. “I’ve just been crying and getting teary thinking about it, “ the nurse told Time. “I think about her every day, and I probably will for the rest of my life.”
Doug Lawson, PhD, president of Baylor University Medical Center, acknowledged in a statement just how significant this moment is for the trial, the medical community, and the new mom: "Our goal in launching this clinical trial has always been to contribute to the body of knowledge on transplantation at a national and international level. This baby, born to a mother who could not otherwise have carried her own child, represents the ultimate success of this program, and we are honored to have been part of this milestone for her.”
Lawson of course wasn't the only one to note the landmark aspect of this baby's birth. Giuliano Testa, MD, principal investigator of the uterine transplant clinical trial at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas agreed, noting, "This first live birth to a uterus transplant recipient in the United States was a milestone in our work to solve absolute uterine factor infertility; but, more importantly, a beautiful moment of love and hope for a mother who had been told she would never be able to carry her own child."
And to Time, Liza Johannesson, an OB/GYN and uterus transplant surgeon at Baylor said, "We’ve been preparing for this moment for a very long time. I think everyone had tears in their eyes when the baby came out. I did for sure.”
What an amazing and poignant moment for everyone involved.
It bears noting that three of the eight transplants done in the clinic trial have failed. Yet, doctors confirmed there's one participant who is expecting after having received a living donor uterus. With hope, this baby's birth signals a whole new era of scientific advancement that can truly support women suffering from AUFI.