Katherine Strickland and Anna Fischman

Celebrating Post-Transplant Motherhood: Katherine and Anna Meet 35 Years After Infant Surgery

In 1987, two mothers bonded in the hospital while watching their daughters heal. Katherine Strickland and Anna Fischman had just received liver transplants as babies, and their mothers leaned on each other during those difficult first weeks. The families went on to share beach vacations when the girls were little, but they ended up living in different states as adults. Before they knew it, 20 years had passed, and in late 2022, Katherine and Anna were back together again–this time as mothers.

In November, with toys, bottles, and books scattered on the table, Katherine and Anna’s families enjoyed a meal together at the Gift of Life Howie’s House. They shared stories, laughed, and reflected on the journey of starting a family, something that was never assured. “It’s been a long road for both of us,” Katherine said.

Becoming a mother post-transplant poses unique challenges, and Katherine and Anna could walk through the process together. “It’s so wonderful to have a friend been through the same experience,” Anna said.

Katherine and Anna are part of the Transplant Pregnancy Registry, which helps transplant patients have families. The organization has an ongoing study that is following almost 5,000 transplant patients through parenthood since 1991.

“As long as their organ is working well and they are on medications safe for pregnancy, they actually do very well with pregnancy after transplant,” Lisa Coscia with the Transplant Pregnancy Registry said. “I think people don’t even know that it’s a possibility.”

Katherine and Anna undoubtedly share a special bond, first as patients, but now as mothers. These life-long friends are living examples of the gift of life–and the gift of strong mothers.