Monday, April 11, 2016

NBC News exclusive: Uterine transplant couple speaks out

Blake, left, and Lindsey McFarland after the transplant surgery. "It's been really encouraging to see all the support from our family and from the doctors and nurses," Blake McFarland told NBC News. "The best experience about it is how much God has looked out for us."

TODAY | Janet Shamlian, Stephanie Siegel

A Texas couple hoped to make history by delivering the first baby in the United States using a donor uterus. The procedure was part of an experimental program at the Cleveland Clinic. But a common fungal infection caused the surgery to fail unexpectedly only a few hours after Lindsey McFarland was introduced as the patient.

In their first television interview since the transplant surgery, the couple — Lindsey, 26, and her husband Blake McFarland — spoke of the "emotional roller coaster" of the long, complicated process, their heartbreaking disappointment after losing the organ, and what's next for their family.

"There are days when I'm happy, and then there's days where I'm kind of mad, and then days where I'm sad," Lindsey McFarland told NBC News. "Everyone has said that that's normal."

Lindsey McFarland was still sedated when doctors told her husband they had no choice but to remove the organ.

"You lose more than just the uterus. You lose a lot of the hopes and dreams that you had for the future," Blake McFarland said.

On April 8, Cleveland Clinic doctors identified why the transplant failed, just two weeks after the historic surgery. It was a Candida infection, a common microbe that affects millions of women, which "compromised the blood supply to the uterus, causing the need for its removal," the clinic said in a statement. Continue reading 
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