Heart Transplant Patient Successfully Gives Birth

February 27, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. undergo 
[uhn-der-GOH(v.) – to experience or to go through
Example: My sister will undergo a series of blood tests before she gives birth to her baby.

2. in vitro fertilization [in VEE-troh-fur-tl-uh-ZEY-shuhn] (n.) – a medical procedure in which the sperm cell and egg cell are combined outside a woman’s body
Example: Women who have difficulties getting pregnant naturally choose in vitro fertilization.

3. transplant [TRANS-plant, -plahnt] (n.) – a medical procedure in which an organ from a person is transferred to another person
Example: I need to go through a kidney transplant after one of my kidneys stopped working.

4. infertility [in-fer-TIL-i-tee] (n.) – inability to reproduce or produce an offspring
Example: Cancer in the ovaries can cause infertility.

5. optimistic [op-tuh-MIS-tik] (adj.) – thinking positive or being hopeful about something
Example: Despite her weak body, the patient is optimistic about getting better.

Read the text below.

An Argentine woman who was a heart transplant patient successfully gave birth nine months after undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). According to experts, no transplant patient has successfully gotten pregnant through IVF, until now.

Thirty-nine-year-old Juliana Finondo gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Emilia on January 15 of this year.

After going through a heart transplant in 1999, Juliana was advised by doctors that getting pregnant would be very risky for her. Pregnancy stresses the heart, which might then cause early birth or problems in the baby’s growth. Medications for IVF could also complicate a transplant patient’s pregnancy.

Despite the risks, Juliana and her husband decided to have a baby. For two years, the couple tried to get pregnant in a natural way, but they were unsuccessful. A doctor said that the transplant medications may have caused infertility, which might explain why she could not bear a child.

But Juliana remained optimistic and tried In vitro fertilization. Doctors first checked if her body rejected the transplanted heart before giving her fertility medicines. Luckily, Juliana got pregnant immediately after the first IVF procedure. Doctors regularly monitored Finondo during her pregnancy to make sure that there were no complications.

Juliana’s ability to bear a child even after a heart transplant proves that transplant patients may have fewer limitations than expected, said Sergio Perrone, a heart doctor. Perrone believes this story might inspire people to donate organs and help save other people’s lives.

In 2012, 630 people have donated organs to 1,458 patients in Argentina. However, Argentine government said that 7,290 people still hope for organ donors.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         If you were in Juliana Finondo’s place, would you still want to have a child despite the risks? Why or Why not?
·         How do you think Juliana Finondo felt after giving birth to her daughter?

Discussion B

·         Do you think it is right to encourage people to donate organs? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, why do some people willingly donate their organs?


February 27, 2013