Liverpool

Baby girl for dialysis patient at Liverpool Women's Hospital

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Media captionAlison Kirk had dialysis six times a day throughout her pregnancy

A woman who has been on dialysis every other day since the age of 11 has given birth to a girl.

Alison Kirk, 28, from Wallasey, Wirral, is on the organ transplant list after being diagnosed with a rare condition called cystinosis at the age of three.

She risked her life to give birth to Gracie Mae at Liverpool Women's Hospital on 21 November.

Ms Kirk has become one of only a handful of women in the UK to become a mother while on dialysis.

She went through six hours of dialysis for six days a week throughout her pregnancy, to give her baby the best possible chance of survival.

Gracie Mae was delivered safely by Caesarean section after Ms Kirk had a massive bleed at 30 weeks and four days.

The baby weighed 3lbs 10oz and is said to be doing well in the hospital's neonatal care unit.

Ms Kirk and her partner, Michael Scott, 25, said the birth would never have been possible but for the skill and dedication of teams at Liverpool Women's and the Renal Department of the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals.

'Best thing ever'

"They were all so amazing and so caring. Gracie Mae is only here because of them," she said.

"I always thought I'd never be a mum.

"When I got pregnant and I told the doctors, I knew the risks that I could lose another child, but I wanted to go through with it because if I didn't then I'd never know.

"I've just always wanted to be a mum and now she's here it's just the best thing ever."

Image caption Gracie Mae weighed 3lbs 10oz when she was born 10 weeks premature

Steve Walkinshaw, consultant in maternity and fetal medicine at Liverpool Women's, said there had only been 90 similar pregnancies between 2000 and 2008 worldwide.

Only 50-75% of those had been successful, he said.

Mr Walkinshaw added: "A successful pregnancy in women treated with renal dialysis is rare.

"I have never come across one before during my experience.

"Liverpool Women's and the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen hospitals established a combined obstetric renal clinic some years ago to co-ordinate the care of these and other women with complex kidney problems."

The pregnancy was Ms Kirk's second, after she became pregnant in 2004 but went into premature labour at 24 weeks.

Her son, Jack, was born in February 2005 but only lived for 12 hours.

"Alison represented a real challenge to the team with her need for very frequent dialysis and the presence of a condition called placenta praevia which carries a risk of massive bleeding during pregnancy," Mr Walkinshaw said.

"The combination of risks undoubtedly put Alison's life in danger and meant she had to spend a lot of the final weeks of her pregnancy in our hospital.

"She is a very brave woman. The successful outcome here is a testament to the care provided by a number of doctors, nurses and midwives at both hospitals and shows what can be achieved in modern maternal medicine."

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