Sunday, December 10

Woman gives birth to own grandson as surrogate for her cancer survivor daughter



A woman has described her joy at giving birth to her own grandson after stepping in as a surrogate for her cancer survivor daughter.

Julie Bradford, 45, said she felt compelled to carry Jack for daughter Jessica Jenkins, 21, who was left unable to have children after suffering cervical cancer .

Ms Jenkins was just 18 when she had her eggs frozen before the treatment began. Three years on, her own mother has had her healthy baby.

Baby Jack was born weighing 6lb 10oz to Ms Bradford, already a mother of three, who is now both his birth mother and grandmother.

Ms Jenkins, 21, said: “My mam is the most brave and amazing woman in the world. I love her so much for giving me my son.

“From a young age I longed to become a mother and our dream has come true. Jack is perfect in every way.”

Ms Jenkins, of Rhymney, Gwent, South Wales, was taken to hospital in 2013 when doctors told her she was too young to have cancer.

Initially, she was told she had a sexually transmitted disease; only further tests revealed the truth.

The hairdresser said: “At hospital I had a biopsy and within three days they told me that I had cancer.

“It took two weeks before they knew how far it had spread. After a scan confirmed that the cancer was in my lymph nodes and I was told that I would never have children.”

But doctors gave her chance to freeze her eggs for a chance of a baby in the future and her mother offered to be her surrogate.

Ms Jenkins said: “They managed to take 21 eggs before I started chemo but only 10 survived. They were made into embryos and grown for two weeks, then frozen.

“Then in May this year we had an embryo defrosted and implanted into my mother’s womb for her to be the little oven helping our Jelly Bean grow.”

She and husband Rees Jenkins were delighted when Ms Bradford became the surrogate and were there when Jack was born on December 2.

Ms Jenkins announced the birth on Facebook and told her friends: “We are very proud parents.”

She is now in remission and attends regular check-ups and scans to ensure the cancer has not returned. She is also campaigning for smear tests for young women to spot health problems earlier.

Her mother said: “The last three years have been the absolute worst. But I was lucky enough to have been given the chance to put things right.

“I watched Jess in such agony and so full of fear and I just wished I could take her place. There was nothing I could do to help and it felt like the cancer was in control, and I felt useless.

“I’ve always known from a young age Jess has longed to become a mother just like I did. When cancer took the chance away for her to carry her own child away we were all heartbroken.

“I decided that if I could be Jess’ surrogate then I would have the control again. I was given the chance to carry Jessica and Rees’ child – and it was an honour.

“We’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals and it has become normal to us. I’m just so happy that this last visit was for such a wonderful reason.”

Video: A Californian grandmother also gave birth to her grandson