Anatolia Vertadella, a 101-year-old Italian woman, has given birth to a 9-pound baby after a controversial ovary transplant widely criticized by medical professionals because of her advanced age, reports the Rivista Napoli.
The illegal and controversial surgical operation was done in a private clinic in Turkey, where European laws on ovary transplants do not apply, admits the centennial mother who does not wish to disclose the name of the clinic where the operation was undertaken.
“I am very grateful to all the team of doctors who decided to go on with the operation,” she admitted in tears.
« I am so grateful to have given birth to my 17th child. This is a true blessing and a testament to the power of the creator »
– Anatolia Vertadella, 101-year-old
“For so long I have felt useless to God, I could not procreate since I turned 48 years old when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. For a long time I believed God was punishing me for only bearing 16 children, but in his godly generosity, he has granted me with fertility once again,” acknowledges the century-old fervent Catholic.
Although he admits the procedure is highly controversial, Dr. Popolicchi believes the ultimate decision was up to his patient to make.
“Who am I to judge if it is the proper thing to do? She has given birth to a beautiful baby and this miraculous birth is definitely a gift from God!” he told reporters. “The operation was completely legal in Turkey and undertaken by a handful of expert surgeons. The lady is in great health for her age and I predict she has still a many good years in front of her to share with her child. So many children are born in this world unwanted or by accident. Is it not a beautiful thing to know this child comes to life in a loving home?” he asked reporters.
An anonymous father
Although Miss Vertadella’s husband has passed away since 1998, the century-old widow has managed to find a sperm donor to make the birth possible.
“I met Francesco’s father on the internet while trying to find a father to my child. This 26-year-old man is a Catholic and that is all that is important to me. I wanted my child to be born in a union sanctified by the Catholic church. I know we are not married and that he will not play a part in Francesco’s life, but I have written to the pope to ask his absolution. I have also named my child after the pope in his honor and so I believe he should find a place in his heart to forgive me in this particular situation. I still love my deceased husband and desire to stay a widow until I leave this earth, but I needed the seed of this young fervent Catholic to fulfill God’s will,” she explained.
The world’s oldest mother was previously believed to be Malegwale Ramokgopa, a woman born in South Africa in 1839 who allegedly gave birth to twins three days after celebrating her 92nd anniversary on October 3, 1931, which made nation-wide headlines at the time.