PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local hospital is making history. The University of Pennsylvania announced Thursday a baby has been born to a woman who received a uterus transplant from a deceased donor.
Doctors, specialists and the family of baby Benjamin Thomas Gobrecht spoke Thursday in University City.
A history making baby, born after a uterus transplant at @PennMedicine. He's the second in the country. #cbs3 meet Benjamin, his parents and the medical team.@CBSPhilly #UterusTransplant pic.twitter.com/a2E8KfEP7S
— Stephanie Stahl (@StahlCBS3) January 9, 2020
“One of the hardest days of my life was when I was 17 years old and learned I would never be able to carry my own child. My husband and I have always wanted to grow our family, but we knew the limited options meant it might never happen,” said Jennifer Gobrecht, who lives just outside of Philadelphia with her husband, Drew. “And now here we are, in spite of everything, holding our beautiful baby boy. Benjamin is a perfect miracle. It’s all thanks to a truly incredible team of doctors and nurses and the selfless donor who made my dream of motherhood come true.”
Gobrecht, who was born without a uterus, is the first patient at Penn to have a baby following a uterus transplant from a deceased donor.
“I think we’re extra lucky because our baby, Benjamin, is so good. He sleeps great, he eats great. He’s doing all the things he’s supposed to be doing and we are just over the moon and in love with him,” Gobrecht said.
In announcing the first-of-its-kind delivery, Penn says it has now performed two uterus transplants and is actively looking to do more.
“For women with Uterine Factor Infertility, uterus transplantation is potentially a new path to parenthood — outside of adoption and use of a gestational carrier — and it’s the only option which allows these women to carry and deliver their babies,” said Dr. Kathleen O’Neill, co-principal investigator of the trial. “While there are still many unknowns about uterus transplantation, we know now — as evidenced by Jen and baby Benjamin — that this is potentially a viable option for some women. Our collaboration with investigators at partnering institutions as well as with Jen and other brave patient pioneers in these clinical trials are helping us learn more about how to make uterus transplants safer, more effective and available to more women.”
After the uterus transplant two years ago, an embryo from the Gobrechts was transferred into Jennifer’s new uterus. Benjamin was born, via C-section, in November.
“We’ve been given the greatest gift of our lives,” Drew Gobrecht said.
Most of the programs around the world have focused on transplantation exclusively from living donors, but Penn Medicine’s trial is one of few to explore donation from both living and deceased donors.
CBS3’s Stephanie Stahl contributed to this report.