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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 August 2005, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Cancer fails to ruin baby dreams
Elin Jones with her parents, Alison and Craig
Mr and Mrs Jones had just one chance to become parents
A couple are celebrating after their daughter was born from an embryo frozen more than two years ago when her mother was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Alison Jones and husband Craig, from Ystradgynlais, were planning a family when she fell ill in 2001.

She had a bone marrow transplant from her sister and chemotherapy, which was expected to leave her infertile.

Only one of Mrs Jones' eggs could be frozen but IVF treatment was successful and baby Elin arrived six weeks ago.

The 34-year-old cardiac nurse said: "I'm the luckiest woman alive - I have beaten the leukaemia and now I'm a mum.

"I just can't believe my baby is here and safe in my arms. It's a real miracle."

The couple had just one chance to become parents because doctors were only able to harvest one egg from Mrs Jones. Normally more than a dozen are collected.

Alison has been incredibly strong and brave. She never gave up hope that she would survive the treatment and have a baby
Craig Jones, Elin's father

The single egg was fertilised and the embryo produced was frozen at the Cromwell in vitro fertilisation (IVF) clinic in Swansea.

Mrs Jones said: "I had intensive chemotherapy prior to the bone marrow transplant and then three days of total body irradiation - everything was wiped out, including my ovaries.

"But I held on to my dream of beating the cancer and one day becoming a mum.

"I kept thinking about that tiny frozen embryo in a deep freeze at the IVF clinic. It helped to get me through."

Emergency Caesarean

Two years after she finished her treatment for leukaemia, she was told she would be well enough to have a baby.

The clinic implanted the embryo in her womb but Mrs and Mrs Jones, who is 35, were told to be prepared for disappointment because radiation treatment could have affected her uterus.

All went well until, at seven months, the baby stopped growing and Mrs Jones developed pre-eclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure in pregnant women.

Elin Jones
Elin is at home with her parents, two weeks before she was due

Elin was born eight weeks premature by emergency Caesarean section, weighing just over 3lb (1.4kg).

The baby is now at home with her parents, two weeks before her due date.

Mr Jones said: "Alison has been incredibly strong and brave. She never gave up hope that she would survive the treatment and have a baby."

Peter Bowen-Simpkins, Cromwell's clinical director, said Mrs Jones had overcome enormous odds to have Elin.

"Only about 30% of embryos survive being frozen and thawed, so it is even more remarkable.

"We usually try to get six or so embryos, so we were disappointed when we were only able to produce one.

"Her chances of having a baby became so slim so it is absolutely wonderful that it has all worked out."

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