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Illinois Federation

For Right to Life

Daily News

Six months ago Tricia and Nathan Lawrenson trekked to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, in order that Tricia, who has cystic fibrosis, could prepare for a double-lung transplant. "There was one thing standing in the way," as WTVD's Barbara Gibbs put it. "A surprise pregnancy." This was great news for the Lawrensons (especially for Tricia who "had been secretly praying for a miracle baby long before she'd even met her husband") but not to some doctors.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Miracle Story in Two Acts


For Tricia Lawrenson of Nags Head, North Carolina, the miracle is not only that her daughter, Gwyneth Rose Lawrenson, born at 24-1/2 weeks weighing only one pound, is doing so well four months later, but also that Tricia is "still here on earth," as television station WTVD put it. As they say, it's a complicated story.

Some counseled abortion, but the Lawrensons refused. They put the transplant on hold, increasing the risk to Tricia. According to Gibbs, seventeen weeks into the pregnancy, there was a crisis. "All we knew was she was unstable and they needed to take the baby," Nathan recounted to Gibbs.


Doctors had to perform an emergency C-section. Nathan said he told doctors "to take the baby and try to save them both."

On January 8, 2008, miracle number one occurred. Gwyneth Rose Lawrenson was born at 24-1/2 weeks weighing only one pound. Both mother and daughter survived.


Tricia still needed her double lung transplant. This is not only complicated, major surgery, there is also a waiting list. And because of the way the system works, Tricia was lower down the priority list.


Beyond that, it wasn't just any lungs she needed. Tricia also "had an unusual antibody which made finding an organ for her a little more challenging," her lead transplant surgeon, Shu S. Lin, told Gibbs.


Miraculously, a lung donor was found in early April. On the second of April, Tricia underwent nine-hour surgery.


Not only is Tricia doing well, according to Dr. Lin, she recovered so quickly the new mom was released three weeks after the transplant. Now the couple looks forward to bringing their healthy--and cystic fibrosis-free daughter--home.


It's easy to see why her doctors are amazed--"a cystic fibrosis patient who has survived giving birth and a double-lung transplant." But Tricia has her own explanation: God.


"I think the real message is to follow your heart, and our heart was believing that God would honor our desire to keep our child throughout this pregnancy, even though I knew it would dramatically affect my health," Tricia said. "Now here I am with new lungs and I'm able to have a second chance at life."


Click here to watch the WTVD video.


Contact: Dave Andrusko

Source: National Right to Life

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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.

Double-lung recipient Tricia Lawrenson

with husband Nathan and their daughter, Gwyneth. Photo courtesy of Nathan Lawrenson