Boston residents Aprill Lane and her husband Brian experienced years of infertility struggles before becoming a mother to five kids, all under 7. When Lane heard about uterus transplants being done in clinical trials at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, she hopped on the opportunity to help another woman in need.
Last year, the 39-year-old donated her own uterus so that another woman could experience conceiving and carrying a child as well. Lane said in an interview with Good Morning America, “Infertility really, aside from the physical effects of it, it emotionally and socially affects you in a huge way. If I could help one other person be relieved of some of that, I would.”
After trying for four years to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF), the couple decided to adopt their oldest son. Lane eventually became pregnant with their second child, another son who is 13 months younger than his older brother. The Lanes tried for a third child using IVF but weren’t successful until her 10th cycle, when she became pregnant with twin girls. Then less than a year later, Lane unexpectedly got pregnant again and delivered another daughter.
Lane helped run infertility support groups throughout her journey and started a scholarship foundation to help women pay for infertility treatments. She said, “My husband and I both felt like our family-building had been resolved but we weren’t necessarily resolved with building a family for someone else.”
Lane traveled on her own between Boston and Dallas for pre-op appointments and the surgery. She was the 15th uterus transplant done at Baylor, which is one of the leading centers for uterus transplants in the world.
Dr. Liza Johannesson, Lane’s surgeon and a pioneer in the field said, “Her story is incredible in itself because she was one of these women when she couldn’t have children, she chose options women had before uterus transplants. She knows the struggle very close up, what these women go through.”
The recipient of Lane’s uterus has been kept anonymous and according to donors and according to Johannesson, recipients do not meet each other until much later in the process, post-transplant, and only if they both want to meet. Johannesson said, “A lot of the women are meeting afterwards, and they form incredible bonds,” adding that in one case, a donor is now the godmother of a recipient’s baby.
How dope is that?