A uterus transplant at Penn Medicine made the impossible a reality for Jennifer and Drew Gobrecht
Jennifer was 17 years old when she learned she could never bear children. When she initially became friends with Drew Gobrecht, in college, she was open about her congenital condition, Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, which means she has functional ovaries but does not have a fully formed uterus. When Jennifer and Drew fell in love and married, they knew their options for starting a family would be limited: adoption or gestational surrogacy. There was absolutely no way Jennifer could become pregnant.
But then, last year, she did. Jennifer, now 33, was the first participant in Penn Medicine’s ongoing uterus transplant clinical trial. In November 2019, she became the second woman in the U.S. to give birth to a baby following a uterus transplant from a deceased donor. Baby Benjamin Thomas Gobrecht was delivered via cesarean section, attended to by a team of more than 20 specialists in high risk obstetrics, transplant surgery, fertility, gynecologic surgery, neonatology, pediatrics, urology, nursing, and anesthesiology.
“As a woman it meant everything to me to be able to have that journey of becoming parents in the way that most people around you get to experience,” Jennifer said.
Watch a moving documentary video of the Gobrecht family’s journey: