Less than two weeks after the Cleveland Clinic performed the nation’s first uterus transplant, surgeons at the hospital revealed Friday that the organ had to be removed due to a fungal infection. On Monday, the patient, Lindsey McFarland, and her husband, Blake McFarland, said they were still coping with the failed surgery.
"There are days when I'm happy, and then there's days where I'm kind of mad, and then days where I'm sad," Lindsey, 26, told NBC News. "Everyone has said that that's normal."
Blake told the news station: "It's been really encouraging to see all the support from our family and from the doctors and nurses. The best experience about it is how much God has looked out for us."
On March 8, hours after doctors announced completion of the transplant at a press conference, Lindsey noticed bleeding from her incision and went into surgery. It was then that doctors discovered a fungal infection had stopped blood flow to the uterus and was causing life-threatening complications involving her artery. They had to remove the organ while she was still sedated.
Lindsey, who was born without a uterus, received the transplant on Feb. 24 and had appeared to be recovering well. When Lindsey awoke from surgery, doctors told her the news.
"It's going to be a while before I work through everything just because I had such high hopes," Lindsey told NBC News.
Lindsey is no longer eligible for another transplant due to a complication with her artery that caused loss of blood flow to her leg a week after the transplant removal.
"We would not proceed with another transplant until we have come up with a clear understanding of how this infection occurred and a clear solution to avoid it from happening [again]," OB-GYN surgeon Dr. Tammaso Falcone, chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Transplant Center, told NBC News.
The Lubbock, Texas, couple now have a new hope for having children— Lindsey’s mother has offered to be a surrogate, using embyros via IVF.