A mother has become the first in Britain to have a successful pregnancy after receiving a double organ transplant.
Emma Smith, 37, from Little Wymondley gave birth to healthy 6lb baby Oliver at the end of last month despite having a donor pancreas and kidney.
It is extremely rare because anti-rejection drugs, which must be taken for life, can cause infertility or complications during pregnancy.
Ms Smith, who lives with her boyfriend Steve, said: “After my transplants I did wonder if I would ever be able to have kids. When I found out it was a complete surprise. The suppressants lower fertility and it is very rare to get pregnant and to go on to have a birth without complications.
“They didn’t have any data about being pregnant on the drugs I was on, but they didn’t want to take the risk of changing them and damaging my organs so they kept me on the same drugs and monitored me very carefully.
“I’m thinking of having another baby now. This one has gone so well, I’m quite reassured about it.
“I hope it shows other people who have had a transplant that they can have children – if it gives them hope then that’s great.”
Emma was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11 and had to have daily injections of insulin. Because of the disease her organs deteriorated until it was necessary to have the transplants five years ago.
She gave birth at St Mary’s Hospital, London, under the care of leading surgeon Professor Nadey Hakim.
Prof Hakim said: “It’s special because the fact of having had a transplant you need to be on anti-rejection therapy. Any medication could be detrimental to the foetus and these are very potent drugs.
“With this little small baby we had to be very careful to have just enough medication on board so the baby doesn’t get damaged.
“It should encourage patients who’ve had transplants to have a normal life – people will not say ‘I’ve had a transplant I can’t get pregnant’.