Here’s a story of a woman determined to be a mom -- and a mom determined to be a grandma. Melinda Arnold, 34, was born without a womb but her ovaries produce eggs. After trying several methods to have a baby, she will become the first woman in Australia to undergo a womb transplant, the Telegraph reports. The most surprising part of the story is that her donor is her mother, Denise Allen.
"She was three years old when she first expressed a desire to be a mother," Allen told the Telegraph.
Allen has been by her daughter’s side as she has tried to get pregnant. First she acted as Arnold’s surrogate 10 years ago, but that was unsuccessful. "There was a bit of a feeling that I had failed her, but Melinda never saw it that way," Allen said.
After a friend attempted surrogacy and also failed, Arnold and her husband Andrew tried adoption, but gave up after three years of no luck.
"Mum and I talked about a transplant years ago, before we even knew if it would be possible," Arnold said.
Now, thanks to a transplant team led by Mats Brannstrom, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Gothenburg University in Sweden, Allen’s dream of becoming a mother might finally come true. Brannstrom says transplants are the solution for women who are missing a womb and can’t be treated any other way. He heads a medical team who hopes to complete the same procedure on a woman in Sweden next spring.
Both mother and daughter understand the risk, but are willing to do whatever it takes. Arnold said she would never forgive herself if she didn’t at least try.
"I also know that if anyone can do this, my daughter can," Allen said.