Flintshire couple's 'designer' baby miracle

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

A COUPLE who thought they would never be able to have another child are now the proud parents of a ‘designer’ baby – free of the disease which claimed the lives of two of their children.

Stuart and Margaret Moakes were left heartbroken by the deaths of daughters Ruby and Lily, who had both suffered from Wolman’s disease, a rare genetic condition.

But after selective IVF treatment, son Jenson was born free of the defective gene.

Margaret, 39, said: “We were devastated. In just 18 months, we had lost two children.

“A geneticist told us we are both carriers of the defective gene. We thought there was no way we could have any more children.

“Now Jenson is five months old and thriving. Some don’t agree with creating a ‘designer’ baby, but we were devastated when we lost our girls.”

Wolman’s disease, which usually claims the lives of babies before they reach their first birthday, prevents the body from disposing of fat, causing severe cell damage.

There are only 50 reported cases worldwide.

Margaret and 38-year-old Stuart, of Simpsons Way, Broughton, lost first daughter

Ruby when she was still-born two weeks before her due date.

Lily, born in December 2005, died shortly before she was due to undergo a bone marrow transplant at just eight months old.

She started being sick six weeks after birth and was diagnosed with the disease at Manchester Children’s Hospital after a scan revealed she had an enlarged liver and spleen.

Margaret, who also has an 11-year-old daughter, Alivia, from a previous relationship, added: “When Jenson was born, it was difficult to believe he wasn’t going to be taken away from us too.”

Margaret underwent the selective IVF treatment at CARE Fertility in Nottingham in November 2007.

Doctors created embryos using six of Margaret’s eggs and Stuart’s sperm and the only one to survive without the disease was planted in her womb last March.

“A fortnight later I was pregnant.

“I never thought I’d hold another child in my arms, but thanks to this technique we have a beautiful baby boy.”

See full story in the Leader

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