Three transplants and a baby

Three transplants and a baby

After giving birth to her first child, Kirsty suffered a life-threatening bleed and underwent an emergency hysterectomy. She was told she would not be able to carry another child, but life had other plans.

Just before Christmas 2023, 31-year-old Kirsty Bryant welcomed her second baby Henry after becoming the first person in Australia to receive a uterus transplant, thanks to a team of incredible medical experts and Lifeblood’s Transplantation and Immunogenetics Services (TSI). 

Earlier that year, Kirsty had joined a groundbreaking research trial for uterus transplantation led by Associate Professor Rebecca Deans at the Royal Hospital for Women, Prince of Wales Hospital and Westmead Hospital. Kirsty was the first of three patients to successfully receive uterus transplants last year, all supported by Lifeblood’s tissue typing team. 

 “Lifeblood have been incredibly instrumental in the success this trial. They are our partners and we could not do this without them.” – Dr Brigitte Gerstl, 

Lifeblood's journey with this program began when an urgent request for human leukocyte antigen (HLA) compatibility testing was sent to our TSI team. HLA testing is essential to any transplant procedure as it tests the compatibility between a recipient and their organ donor. The more antigens that match the more likely the donor and recipient are compatible. 

In this case, the donor was Kirsty's mother Michelle, who didn't hesitate to undergo the painstaking 16-hour dual surgery alongside her daughter. Less than five months on from the transplant operation, Kirsty was pregnant and growing baby Henry in the same uterus she was carried in. 

If this mind-blowing miracle wasn't enough to have you tearing up, the second woman to receive a uterus transplant under this trial, and supported by TIS, is now over 20 weeks pregnant and due to deliver her baby at the end of May 2024. In more exciting news, a third successful transplant in December means baby number three could be on its way soon! 

Thanks to the success of these transplants and the support of Lifeblood, the trial has grown significantly, expanding nationally for both recipients and donors. Rebecca’s team is now receiving requests from women across Australia, wishing to donate their uterus so hopeful mothers can have a child of their own.

To learn more about participating as a donor or recipient in the trial email or to find out more about Lifeblood’s research into transplantation and Immunogenetics click here.