Mississippi woman with rare medical history becomes a mother, defying odds

Brooke Lillie poses with her family. (Credit: Brooke Lillie)

Brooke Lillie of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, was always determined to be a mother despite her medical diagnosis and the given rarity of carrying out a pregnancy. 

However, the 28-year-old and her husband welcomed their daughter, Lauren, last June, defying medical odds. 

"I have had a couple of miscarriages in the past, and so it was kind of hard for me to get excited in the beginning," she told FOX Television Stations. "I didn't want to get my hopes up."

Lillie was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy when she was a toddler.  According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, cardiomyopathy is a collection of diverse conditions of the heart muscle. For the restrictive type, the heart muscle is stiff or scarred, or both. 

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At 15 months old, she received a heart transplant. In 2019, she had a kidney transplant after finding out her husband was a perfect match less than a year into their marriage. 


Lauren Lillie was born in June 2023. (Credit: Brooke Lillie)

"He ended up being literally, quite literally, my perfect match. Not only has a husband," she added. 

Doctors told Lillie that because of her medical condition, any pregnancy would be considered high-risk.

"It was pretty discouraging because my transplant team was not really on board with the idea of me having a baby," she continued. "But, I just prayed that God would give me a family one way or the other."

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The mother said she thanked her medical team for helping her through the pregnancy but said her faith was the biggest factor in bringing forth a family. 

"I think that my faith is the main reason that things finally worked for us," Lillie said. "I never gave up praying. I prayed every day, and I just knew in my heart that I was going to be a mom."

"I just knew that the only person who could make that happen was God," she added. 

Lillie said she encourages people to become organ donors. 

"If I wouldn't have had my heart donor, I literally wouldn't be alive, and then I wouldn't have my family." 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.