Cape Town couple and first-time parents Lee-Anne and Ashton Williams are completely in awe of their bundle of joy – but baby Zachary is no ordinary infant.
Zachary was born almost three months ago on June 3 after Lee-Anne became one of the first women in Africa to undergo a rare medical procedure called ovarian tissue freezing, to conceive naturally after having undergone chemotherapy to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which destroyed her ovaries.
Lee-Anne is now one of just 15 women worldwide who have benefited from the procedure in which doctors removed one of her ovaries before her cancer treatment in 2004.
Cape Town fertility specialist Dr Paul le Roux then froze the ovary tissue containing Lee-Anne’s eggs, which was then transplanted into her remaining ovary after she was declared cancer-free in 2010.
Although this ovary had been damaged by chemotherapy, the transplanted tissue kick-started the ovary back to life.
The medical wonder first made the news in November 2012, when a newlywed Lee-Anne was in her first trimester of pregnancy – and just four months after Le Roux had performed the transplant.
About nine months later, Zachary arrived on a Monday morning weighing nearly 4kg.
“He is amazing, and our lives have changed completely,” Lee-Anne said.
According to Ashton, fatherhood has exceeded all his expectations. “Considering everything, I’m just so grateful he’s healthy,” he said.
“He’s a very friendly baby and I’m already proud of him.”
If all goes well, they plan to try for a brother or sister for Zachary in about three years.
“But if we don’t succeed, we’ll be more than happy with just this beautiful boy,” added Lee-Anne. – Health-e News Service