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State History: Indiana's first-ever uterine transplants to help other women

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Posted at 5:01 PM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 17:01:48-04

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana woman in her 30's died unexpectedly in July and became an organ donor, wherein she also became Indiana's first-ever uterus donor.

The surgery happened at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, according to the Indiana Donor Network.

But the milestone doesn't stop there. A woman in her 40's passed away soon after the first donor and became the second-ever Indiana woman to donate her uterus. This operation happened at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

The hope is that two women out there will now each get a new uterus so they have a chance at becoming mothers.

Each of the donors was also able to save lives through heart, liver, lung, and kidney donation.

Due to the limited number of uterus transplants that occur, and donor/recipient confidentiality, the names of the donors, the receiving transplant center, and the specific dates of the recoveries will remain confidential.

Their husbands and children survive both donors.

According to the Indiana Donor Network, uterine transplants are Vascularized Composite Allografts which involves transplanting multiple structures that may include skin, bone, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue.

"These donors are true heroes, and their donations are historic," Kellie Hanner, Indiana Donor Network president and chief executive officer, said. "We ask all Hoosiers to join us in keeping their families in our thoughts and prayers, and we sincerely thank them for their lifesaving decision to say yes to donation."