Miracle birth  The answer is a resounding yes. For those who doubt the existence of miracles, please read the story about 26 year- old Fatema Al Ansari who enters the annals of medical history as the first “five-organ-transplant” recipient to have a successful pregnancy and delivery.

At age 19, Ansari, who lives in Qatar, developed a blood clot in one of her intestinal veins; a condition called Mesenteric Venous Thrombosis (MVT). She had also become pregnant but was forced to terminate her pregnancy.  MVT can be caused by appendicitis, inflammation of the small intestines, pancreatitis, cancer or liver disease. It is usually treated with blood thinners, but apparently that didn’t work and Ansari required a transplant of her pancreas, stomach, liver, large and small intestine in Miami, Florida.  With each of those organs received, came the possibility of an organ rejection which, thankfully did not occur. There are only 600 people in the world that had a 5-organ transplant but none of them ever gave birth. In Europe, there are cases of successful births given by patients who have had 2-organ transplants, but never five.

Ansari initially thought that she would never have children but decided to seek the help of an infertility specialist and had in vitro fertilization. It worked and she became pregnant again.  She returned to Miami to have prenatal care with a high-risk obstetrician and transplant specialists. The greatest threat to the pregnancy would be the development of an infection but thankfully, that did not occur. Ansari did experience minor complications such as bleeding, a bout with the flu and pain associated with a growing baby that was ultimately delivered by C. Section. Her baby girl weighed 4-poiunds and 7 ounces and mother and baby are doing fine.

Ansari’s successful pregnancy and birth has provided new insight into the specialties of transplant medicine and obstetrics. Perhaps the greatest insight of all is discovering that the miracle of life can occur — despite all odds.