This mother made history by giving birth to a baby produced from an egg she had frozen an astonishing 14 years earlier.
This is the first time an egg has been effectively used in IVF around world after having been frozen for so long.
The egg that created little Faith Roberts was ‘harvested’ from her mother Alannah when she was a teenager battling cancer.
Proud Alannah, 30, who has beaten cancer three times, said yesterday: ‘She may have been in the freezer for 14 years, but she beat all the odds to be here with us.’
And Robert Smith, Clinical Director for Care Fertility London, who are one of the biggest and longest running IVF providers in Britain, said: ‘This is an amazing achievement. We have never come across a baby that has been born such a long time after egg freezing before.
‘Eggs are so incredibly fragile, much more so than embryos, so this is amazing to have been able to preserve this woman’s fertility for so long like this.’
Alannah, from Stourbridge, West Midlands, was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the blood only when she was 15. She said: ‘Doctors said that they had caught it just in time. I wouldn’t have survived much longer without treatment.’
Her chemotherapy started right away and her cancer was in remission, however, it returned after two years when she was 17.
Before the next round of treatment doctors advised on freezing her eggs as chemotherapy might leave her infertile. Her eggs were then harvested and frozen.
Alannah said: ‘I didn’t give it much thought at the time because I was so young. All I wanted to do was get better again.
‘I had another course of chemotherapy treatment, and once again, my cancer was beaten.
‘I felt so lucky and I got on with my life. I met my boyfriend Andrew, and told him what I’d been through and he was so supportive.’
Five years later she found to have a lump in her neck, the cancer had returned.
Tests showed it had already spread to other parts of her body. She said: ‘The only answer was to have full-body radiation treatment, which would definitely kill off any tiny hope of me ever falling pregnant naturally.
‘Now all my hopes of being a mum were firmly pinned on those seven eggs I had in the freezer.’ The doctors also decided they would carry out a stem-cell transplant to try to cure her, and her brother Daniel proved to be a perfect match.’
Alannah and Andrew, by now her husband, decided to start trying for a family at the beginning of 2016, and her seven eggs were taken out of the freezer and defrosted.
The eggs survived the thawing process and were fertilized but only two of them survived long enough to be implanted.
‘I could see her tiny flickering heartbeat on the screen. It was the most amazing sight.’
Faith was delivered in October after a 38-week pregnancy. Her proud mother said: ‘From the moment she was born, we fell head over heels in love with her – she is here with us at long last.’