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Miracle baby for kidney patient who beat the odds to become a mum

Published 01/02/2017

A kidney patient who thought her condition had left her infertile has beaten the odds to become a mother, thanks to the support of teams at the Royal Derby Hospital.  

Jackie Smith was thrilled when she unexpectedly fell pregnant last year, but the risks associated with her condition meant both she and the baby were in danger throughout the pregnancy. The level of risk was so high, she was advised to think carefully before continuing with the pregnancy. 

But after months of close monitoring and tailored treatment by Renal and Obstetric specialists at the hospital, Jackie and her partner Shaine welcomed a healthy baby girl on Friday.

Jackie, 35, said: “Words can’t describe how happy we are; we’re completely overjoyed as we never thought it would happen. It’s been very hard, as we didn’t know what was going to happen, but now she’s here it’s made it all worthwhile. I’m so grateful to the teams here for everything they’ve done. She’s our little miracle.”

Jackie suffers with IGA nephropathy, a condition which causes a reduction in kidney function, and eventual kidney failure. It affects the hormones in the body and makes it extremely difficult to fall pregnant and for the body to cope with the changes of pregnancy. Jackie’s kidneys failed while she was pregnant, and she had to go onto dialysis, which put her and Poppy at even greater risk. She was put on nocturnal home haemodialysis, which meant she dialysed overnight five times a week, as this was best for the baby.

Consultant Renal Physician Dr Richard Fluck, said: “I’ve worked in kidney medicine for 30 years, and I’ve only seen five pregnancies in women who have kidney disease and are on dialysis.  Jackie’s is the only successful pregnancy I’ve seen. It’s been a challenge, but we’ve all worked together to make sure Jackie and her baby were in the best position possible. We’re absolutely thrilled that little Poppy has arrived happy and healthy.”

Poppy was born at just under 36 weeks, following a planned caesarean. Jackie, from Castle Donington, spent the hours before surgery on dialysis, to make sure she was in the best possible condition for the operation. She’s been nursing Poppy with one hand while dialysing in her room on the Maternity ward.

Jackie’s partner Shaine said: “They’re both amazing. Jackie’s been incredible throughout all of it; I’m so proud of her. I’m absolutely smitten with Poppy.”

Woman holding baby
Last Modified 01/02/2017