The family of a 24-year-old woman from Dubai is being called "courageous" and "pioneers" because they had the foresight to freeze one of her ovaries when she was just 9 years old, the Washington Post reports. According to the BBC, Moaza al Matrooshi was born with a potentially fatal blood disorder and needed chemotherapy, which can permanently damage ovaries. Before chemo, her family made the bold decision to remove Matrooshi's right ovary and freeze it—three years before frozen ovarian tissue would be successfully used in a birth. But on Tuesday Matrooshi gave birth to a healthy baby boy. She's believed to be the first person in the world to give birth using ovarian tissue frozen before puberty.
Last year, doctors attached four pieces of Matrooshi's frozen right ovary to her nonworking left ovary and another piece to her uterus. Within three months, Matrooshi—who had been going through menopause—was having regular periods. Her fertility returned, as well. She describes the birth of her son as "like a miracle." "I always believed that I would be a mum," she says. "I didn't stop hoping." Her doctor, Sara Matthews, says the birth is a "huge step forward" that will give girls facing cancer or other disorders hope that they'll still be able to start a family. "We've never known if we could take tissue from a child, freeze it, and make it work again," Matthews says. Thousands of girls and young women currently have stored frozen ovarian tissue, the Guardian reports. (China's sperm seems to be getting worse.)