Published by BBC NEWS - 3rd May 2022

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A woman who had life-threatening cancer has given birth to a “little miracle” baby after pioneering treatment.

Sammy Gray, 26, feared chemotherapy had left her infertile but had son Walter after CAR-T cell therapy trained her body to fight back against the cancer.

Ms Gray, of Blackpool, Lancashire, become one of the first in the UK to give birth following the treatment.

She gave birth on 23 February after the innovative treatment at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester.

Her daughter Harper was born in 2018 when Ms Gray was then diagnosed with non Hodgkin’s lymphoma, an uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system.

Ms Gray underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy but then the cancer became more aggressive and progressed.

In June 2019 medics decided to try the CAR-T cell therapy, which was only approved on the NHS in 2018.

Cancer treatments can leave women infertile and Ms Gray did not have periods for a year.

Sammy Gray, with partner Daley, daughter Harper and "miracle" baby Walter

Image source, Kelly Couttie Photography

CAR-T is a type of immunotherapy which involves reprogramming the patient’s own immune system cells to fight the cancer and Walter was then born naturally.

Ms Gray said: “I wasn’t petrified of dying but I was petrified of leaving Harper behind.

“It has been an incredibly tough few years and I missed out on so much of my first taste of motherhood when Harper was a baby.

“The chemotherapy made me very ill so I couldn’t look after my baby daughter, so Daley, my fiancé, had to be a full-time dad.

“I’m determined to make the most of every minute with Walter. “

Sammy Gray holds her "little miracle" Walter

Image source, Kelly Couttie Photography

She added: “Walter is our little miracle. If it wasn’t for the CAR-T treatment at the Christie neither of us would be here now.”

She has now been clear of cancer for the past year.

Professor Adrian Bloor, consultant haematologist at the Christie said the “treatment saved her life”.

He added: “Sammy was one of our first CAR-T patients, and at that time the youngest.”

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Image source, Empics

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