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Moaza's Story

A world first medical breakthrough and a ‘miracle baby’ for a Portland mother! Doctors reverse a woman's menopause caused by a childhood illness

There were tears of joy at The Portland when a healthy 3.27 kilo baby boy was born to the delight of his parents after doctors restored his mother’s fertility by replanting her ovarian tissue removed and frozen when she was just a child. Proud mum, Moaza Al Matrooshi, told the BBC” It’s like a miracle!” Moaza was born with a life threatening blood disorder called B thalassaemia major, and she was lucky to have the chance to be cured by having a bone marrow transplant from her younger brother. She needed toxic chemotherapy as part of the transplant treatment that would make her infertile. Doctors in Leeds removed her right ovary and scientists developed a new way of freezing the tissue. Moaza, who comes from Dubai, then underwent chemotherapy at Great Ormond Street children’s hospital which saved her life but damaged her remaining ovary. Years later, Moaza married husband Ahmed and naturally they wanted to start a family.

The happy family: mother Moaza, baby Rashid and his proud father, Ahmed
Portland fertility consultant, gynaecologist Miss Sara Matthews gets to hold 'miracle baby' Rashid

One of the UK’s leading fertility consultants, The Portland’s Miss Sara Matthews, worked with doctors in Denmark to restore Moaza’s fertility. The surgeons there replanted four pieces of ovarian tissue onto her remaining but infertile ovary and one piece onto the side of the womb. After several months, Miss Matthews found Moaza’s menopausal symptoms were being reversed and eventually she began to ovulate. The ovaries were then stimulated for IVF treatment and 8 eggs were collected to fertilise. Two embryos were placed in Moaza’s womb. During Moaza’s pregnancy she was closely monitored at The Portland and on 13th December 2016, consultant obstetrician Miss Cathy Roberts delivered baby Rashid by Ceasarean section. Holding her first born, with tears of joy, Moaza told the BBC, “We have been waiting so long for this result – a healthy baby.”

Consultant gynaecologist, Sara Matthews who was also present at the birth, said she was overjoyed by the success of this world first event. “This really is a huge step forward. It is the first time that ovarian tissue from a young girl pre-puberty has been frozen and then replanted successfully.” “We knew that this process worked when tissue was replanted in older women but this wonderful event gives hope to many young girls who might be faced with cancer, blood or immune disorders where the treatment would make them infertile!” Hospital Chief Executive, Janene Madden said that everyone at The Portland was delighted with Moaza’s new baby. “This is also a compliment to Moaza’s national health service who supported her and enabled this ground breaking sequence of procedures to take place. Baby Rashid is truly a very special baby!”

The Portland team who helped bring baby Rashid into the world with his proud parents Moaza and Ahmed
To find out more about the 'Miracle baby born against all the odds’ watch the ‘Women’s health and innovation – Infertility treatment’ video clip from the recent ‘Five Star Babies’ series
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