Read more here: TPRI TransplantWorld-Journal-1-2021
Because she had two life-saving liver transplants as a child, Alecia was told she wouldn’t be able to have children. However, now 29 years old, Alecia has two beautiful daughters, Nailah and Nariyah.
“My kids are my sunshine,” Alecia says. “When I’m in a bad mood, all I need to do is look at them and my day is better.”
Alecia found out about the Transplant Pregnancy Registry International while attending Gift of Life’s annual Donor Dash for Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness. Having already given birth to her first child, she was approached by Howard M. Nathan, CEO and President of Gift of Life, about the program.
“Howard gave me his business card and connected me with the Registry,” Alecia explains. “A researcher called me and asked me some questions about my pregnancy. A resource like this would have been very helpful to me, but I am glad that my experience can be helpful to others considering pregnancy after transplant.”
As a child, Alecia felt isolated. She couldn’t go out and play tag or jump rope with her classmates because of her transplant. It wasn’t until she got older and gained a better understanding of her condition and care that she felt a sense of normalcy.
She hopes for a livelier childhood for her two girls.
“We love going to the park and feeding the fish,” Alecia shares. “My oldest daughter Nailah is climbing, flipping, and jumping everywhere. I want to sign her up for gymnastics classes.”
She also picked out special names for them.
“Nailah means successful,” Alecia says. “And Nariyah means bright light. It was important to me to name my daughters something representative of the women they are and will become.”
Because Alecia shared her story with the Transplant Pregnancy Registry International, women considering parenthood after transplant can access information that will help them make an informed decision on whether parenthood is right for them.
“Transplant recipients live in a different world than others,” she explains. “We have to look out for each other. I’m glad we have a resource like the Registry.”
Learn more about the Transplant Pregnancy Registry International here.
Ashley and Bobby’s world was turned upside down when he was suddenly hospitalized and placed on life-support. A double-lung transplant became his only option for survival. Uncertain that he would receive one, he and his fiancée Ashley arranged to be married at his bedside. Right before their ceremony, doctors told Ashley and Bobby that a donor had been found and Bobby received a transplant—his second chance at life.
Bobby recovered well and he and Ashley continued their lives together doing what they loved—being outside and spending time with family and friends. They both knew they’d want to have a family one day, but didn’t know if that would be possible because of Bobby’s condition and the life-saving medications he took.
Ashley and Bobby turned to the Transplant Pregnancy Registry International to learn if it was safe to start a family…and they found out that it is possible!
“The registry was the only resource we found that could provide us with data based on studies involving fathers with transplants who take certain medications,” Ashley explains.
Two years ago, Ashley and Bobby welcomed their daughter Amara into the world. Together, they enjoy playing outside, going on walks, camping, visiting family and friends, visiting new towns, and exploring farms and kids’ museums.
Recently they found out that they have another child on the way!
“Because of Bobby’s organ donor, he is here and alive!” Ashley says. “And because of the Registry, we were able to make an informed decision about having a family after transplant.”
Ashley and Bobby are so excited for their family to grow. In the future, they hope to go on an international trip together where they can enjoy their time together and learn more about the world around them.
“Absolute pure, overwhelming joy,“ says Hope of giving birth to her daughter Anabelle. Anabelle was born after a smooth pregnancy that had been carefully monitored by a team of medical professionals, who had good reason to be cautious. Hope is a heart transplant recipient. When Hope became pregnant, she reached out to the Transplant Pregnancy Registry for information from their research and for support since her physicians had suggested terminating her pregnancy due to the potential risks.
Hope has a hard time finding the words to express her gratitude for the registry.
Each case is different and the Registry encourages recipients to rely on the expertise of their healthcare providers who know the most about a recipient’s health.The information the registry provided to Hope and her physicians contributed to Hope’s going through with her pregnancy.
She has a hard time finding the words to express her gratitude for the registry and the role it played in bringing Anabelle to their family.
Felicia is forever grateful for two healthy babies, daughter Jeslyn and son Jackson, born after her life saving liver transplant. Felicia shared that she received excellent care and monitoring during her pregnancies as well as professional and great care during delivery of both children. Felicia was in graduate school at Howard University when she starting to feel ill. She worked for 12 years as a school social worker and got married while her health was declining. She prayed and asked God to receive a liver transplant and be healthy enough to have a baby. After Felicia received her transplant she began asking for information about the safety of pregnancy post-transplant, but the doctors were resistant. The information she received from the Transplant Pregnancy Registry gave her hope and guidance. Felicia is very thankful for her health and her children.
Faith is so thankful for a healthy active life because she received a kidney and pancreas transplant from her donor in the summer of 1992. Following the transplant, Faith was told she could have children, but to wait at least one year before becoming pregnant. After six years, Faith met her husband Alex and together they met with the late Dr. Vincent Armenti, founder of the Transplant Pregnancy Registry (TPR), to find out if it would be safe for Faith to give birth. After reviewing the data collected by the TPR and Faith’s medical history, Dr. Armenti was able to assure them that it was certainly possible for Faith to have a healthy baby and for her to remain healthy with her transplant. He suggested that Faith speak with her transplant team about becoming pregnant and that she be followed by a high-risk obstetrician. Faith followed this advice and had two healthy daughters who are now teenagers. Faith still has normal kidney and pancreas function after 24 years. She and Alex are very grateful for the research information available from TPR. A few years later, Faith began to work as a research coordinator for the TPR, bringing a special perspective to the study.
Christina always thought she’d be a young mother, but because of her lupus and kidney failure, having children in her 20’s was unrealistic. After finding medication to control her lupus and then receiving a kidney from her husband in 2009, Christina gave birth to Levi in 2012. While pregnant with Levi, Christina contacted the Transplant Pregnancy Registry and joined over 1,000 other kidney transplant recipients who have shared their experiences with pregnancy after transplantation with us. As it did for Christina, this information has helped countless transplant recipients make family planning decisions. We are thankful that Christina continues to participate in our study and congratulate her on the birth of two more sons, Hunter and Colton.
Megan had been controlling ulcerative colitis with medication since she was 11 and five years later, was diagnosed with ovarian failure. Despite these health hurdles, Megan travelled with her soccer team throughout Europe, played Division I Soccer in college and studied in Madrid her junior year. After college, she moved to Laguna Beach for graduate school to study Public Policy and began her first job. That is when Megan began to feel very ill, was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and was listed for a Liver Transplant. As her condition worsened, she was elevated to a status 1 patient with acute liver failure. Eight days later, Megan received the gift of a liver which restored her health.
Her doctors told her the chance of becoming pregnant with ovarian failure was extremely low, which was a painful emotional blow.
Fast forward 12 years to when Megan got married and wanted to be a mother. Her doctors told her the chance of becoming pregnant with ovarian failure was extremely low, which was a painful emotional blow for her. Megan had always wanted two or three children and her husband wanted one or two. After trying to have children naturally, Megan and her husband began IVF treatments and became parents to twins, Cyrus and Lily, who were born early at 33½ weeks. The babies fulfilled their parent’s hopes, but a year and two weeks later, their family grew when they had another set of twins, Cleo and Daphne, who were conceived naturally. Today Megan and her husband are busy with two energetic sets of twins. Megan also works as a Family Resource Coordinator at her local organ procurement organization, helping families of organ and tissue donors cope with the loss of their loved one. Megan says all who know her, know of her donor and how grateful she is for her second chance at life.