A mum who had 20 miscarriages has had a healthy baby boy – thanks to a 25p tablet used to combat malaria.
For 11 agonising years, Kelly Moseley and her husband Alan suffered heartbreak after heartbreak in their efforts to start a family.
But after taking the drug, Kelly is now mum to a 'miracle' boy, Tyler, who was the first baby in the world to be born after the pioneering treatment.
As she cuddled Tyler, who is now nine months old, Kelly, 37, told The Mirror: "So many people were saying, 'It's time to stop. You've lost too many'. But I just couldn't. The thought 'just one more go,' was all that kept me going."
Kelly's dreams of becoming a mum were realised thanks to miscarriage consultant Hassan Shehata, who discovered she had a high level of NK, or natural killer cells, in her immune system.
They are not normally a problem, but in some women can become so aggressive that they attack the foetus, thinking it is a foreign body, and cause a miscarriage.
Mr Shehata tried many different treatments until hitting upon one that worked – the malaria tablet, hydroxychloroquine that suppressed her immune system.
Kelly began taking it daily in February 2012 until after Tyler, was born.
Kelly, from Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham, said: "I put all my faith in Mr Shehata. When I became pregnant in September 2012 we didn't tell a soul.
"I hid my bump with baggy tops and lived in a constant state of terror. I woke every morning convinced it was the day I'd lose the baby. But the treatment worked and I can't thank Mr Shehata enough."
After losing 18 babies at eight weeks and having two miscarriages at five months, Kelly admitted there were times when her despair was overwhelming.
She said: "It was hard. I would think, 'What have I done to deserve this?'"
Kelly and Alan married in 2002 and soon started trying for a family. They were both thrilled when Kelly discovered she was pregnant.
But at eight weeks, a scan revealed no heartbeat – and Kelly miscarried. It was a story that would repeat itself time and time again.
Kelly, who has two daughters Jaye, 18, and Olivia, 15, from a previous relationship, said: "I'd do a pregnancy test, see a blue line and for a split second think, 'Yeah, that's fantastic,' before thinking, 'Well, I know I'm going to lose it'."
Then in 2007, after a total of 11 miscarriages, Kelly saw a breakfast TV interview with Mr Shehata.
The consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust was explaining how he helped a mum have a baby after 18 miscarriages.
Kelly said: "I remember thinking, 'He's my only hope'. I immediately wrote to him, begging for help, and he agreed to see us and asked my GP to refer me to his NHS clinic."
After a series of treatments Kelly experienced more miscarriages, but then in the summer of 2012, Mr Shehata suggested the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine.
He explained that it was used as an immune suppressant treatment for conditions such as lupus arthritis – and suggested it might lower Kelly's overactive immune cells.
A year later she became pregnant again. But at 28 weeks she prepared herself for yet more heartache when she was admitted to Heartlands with high blood pressure.
Two days later, doctors decided to perform an emergency caesarean.
Kelly admitted: "I was petrified. I kept saying over and over, 'Please don't let my baby die. I can't come this far and lose him'."
Finally the miracle happened and Tyler was born – at just 2lb 15oz.
"I was so poorly it was two days before I got to see him," said Kelly.
"He was much smaller than even in the photos Alan had showed me. I just couldn't see him making it."
But Tyler grew stronger and, after two weeks, Kelly was holding him in her arms. On May 18 last year, and weighing a healthy 5lb, he was allowed home.
Kelly said: "Strapping him into his car seat was a magical moment. We never thought the day would come when we'd be the ones leaving hospital proudly showing off our new baby."
Mr Shehata is equally delighted.
He said: "Kelly's case became a kind of enigma. Then one day it just hit me in a eureka moment. I have since used this treatment with 10 to15 other women and had success too. It's very exciting. I am now writing up a proposal for research grant funding."
Kelly's advice to other couples struggling to become parents: "Don't give up. We know how much it hurts but it's all worthwhile. You get there in the end."
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