MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — When Elizabeth Goldman was 14 years old, she was told her dream of having her own baby would never be possible.
She has MRKH syndrome, meaning she was born without a uterus or cervix.
“It kind of wrecks your life when you know you want kids growing up,” Goldman said.
For years, she barely told anyone about her condition or longing to be pregnant. She sought solace in social media support groups, and it was there – in a Facebook post – she first found hope.
“In 2012 I saw where Sweden was launching the process of doing uterus transplant trials,” she said.
She went about her life, got married to her husband Timmy – and has a family she loves in her stepson and nephew they adopted as an infant.
Then, the idea of a uterus transplant wasn’t just a foreign concept anymore.
“In October of last year, I saw someone post in one of the support groups about uterus transplants at UAB, and I was like whoa – this is home,” she said.
After a series of phone calls, tests and interviews, Goldman was accepted into the program.
Only 32 uterus transplants have ever been done in the U.S., according to Dr. Paige Porrett, who’s heading the UAB program.
“As one of my colleagues in the field calls it, it’s a life-framing diagnosis,” said Dr. Porrett. “It’s a pretty complicated abdominal operation, lasts 8-10 hours in my hand.”
Porrett performed three uterus transplants before coming to UAB, which have all been successful.
Patients must undergo IVF, and if there are no problems with the new uterus after six months, the embryos can be inserted. Doctor Porrett says the goal is to deliver the baby around 37 weeks, which is three weeks shy of a full term.
“Even though the babies are born early all of the babies that we have to date have met their developmental milestones,” said Porrett.
Goldman is in the process of raising money for her IVF treatment. If you’d like to donate, click here.
Once that’s complete, she and her family must then move to Birmingham within 30 minutes of UAB so doctors can closely monitor her throughout the process.