Irish doctor helps woman have 'miracle baby' by using frozen ovarian tissue taken when she was a child
A pioneering doctor from Northern Ireland was part of a team of medics who helped a woman give birth after they restored her fertility using frozen ovarian tissue taken when she was a child.
Moaza Al Matrooshi (24) had her ovary removed and frozen when she was just eight years old while being treated for an inherited blood disorder, beta thalassaemia.
Sara Matthews (right), a consultant gynaecologist from Belfast, helped carry out the ground-breaking treatment.
Dr Matthews, who works at the private Portland Hospital in London, sent the tissue to Denmark, where she helped transplant it back.
The new mother said the arrival of her baby son was "like a miracle".
Mrs Al Matrooshi's ovary was frozen before puberty as she needed chemotherapy, which damages the ovaries, before receiving a bone marrow transplant from her brother at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
The ovary remained frozen until last year when specialists - including Dr Matthews - arranged for it to be sent to Denmark, where the transplant took place.
Dr Matthews, who is a Queen's University graduate and former pupil of St Dominic's Grammar School and Methodist College, said it was a "huge step forward".
She previously told the Belfast Telegraph: "This allows young girls who develop cancer or have other conditions that require chemotherapy, like beta thalassaemia, to have children, where the vast majority, over 90%, would not be able to have their own children.
"There is no other way at the moment to do it.
"You can't do IVF (before the chemotherapy) because they haven't gone through puberty. It is the only option for them and we have been able to prove that."
Mrs Al Matrooshi said: "I always believed that I would be a mum and that I would have a baby.
"I didn't stop hoping and now I have this baby."