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Hashmis suffer miscarriage setback

10 December 2003
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 238

Raj and Shahana Hashmi, the couple who fought to be able to create a 'saviour sibling' for their son Zain, have suffered a further blow. Shahana, who had succeeded in becoming pregnant after using IVF the tissue typing procedure. However, in April this year, the UK Court of Appeal allowed the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)'s appeal against the decision, which meant that the couple could proceed with the treatment in order to attempt to have a child who could save their existing son, Zain.

Zain has thalassaemia, an inherited blood condition, which might be able to be cured by a transplant of umbilical cord blood stem cells from a sibling with matching tissue. None of the Hashmis' other children are a tissue match for him.

The Hashmis began their third attempt at IVF in May, under the care of Nottingham's CARE at the Park hospital. They had hoped to be able to use stem cells from the umbilical cord blood of the new baby to treat Zain. Now the couple have revealed that the pregnancy ended in miscarriage. 'We are absolutely gutted', said Shahana, in a radio interview. 'We were so close to having that match. We could almost say: 'That's it, we've done it for Zain', she added, before saying that the couple would try for a baby again: 'we'll get there, I know we will', she said.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Designer baby couple suffer miscarriage
The Daily Telegraph |  10 December 2003
'Designer baby' miscarriage blow
BBC News Online |  10 December 2003
Miscarriage blow for 'designer baby' couple's bid to save son
The Scotsman |  10 December 2003
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