Dr. Johannesson made news in 2014 as an integral member of the Swedish team who performed the first successful uterus transplant with the first birth from a uterus transplant in the world. In 2017 she was also involved when Baylor University Medical Center as the second center in the world, delivered a healthy baby after uterus transplantation. Dr. Johannesson's contribution to the Reproductive Medicine (infertility/gynecology) and Transplant Surgery fields has allowed women and families throughout the world to truly "outlive" themselves. For the first time in history, women who were born without a uterus are able to have a baby of their own through the innovation of uterus transplant.
Dr. Johannesson is not only a hardworking surgeon, she is kind and caring to her patients and their families who trust her and her team throughout these experimental procedures. Her expertise, confidence and loving manner put her patients at ease. Dr. Johannesson is also a dedicated wife and mother. She and her husband, who is a spine surgeon, are amazing parents to 3 beautiful and smart girls.
Dr. Johannesson is truly a pioneer in her field and in large part because of her hard work and dedication, the fields of reproductive medicine and transplant surgery have been changed forever.
We are thrilled to honor Dr. Johannesson at the 4th Annual Outlive Yourself Awards on September 18th in Dallas, TX. We asked Dr. Johannesson a few questions about what her thoughts were after she found out that she had won the Outlive Yourself Award. Her passion for people and desire to serve others is apparent and we hope you enjoy reading this inspiring interview. Please join us on September 18th to celebrate Dr. Johannesson and all of her accomplishments.
- Please share with us a time when you feel like you were making a lasting difference in the lives of others.
I am very fortunate to work in an area of medicine where I get to see miracles almost every day. Where I daily have the opportunity to forever change someone’s life. A transplantation of a uterus is not saving a life or even prolonging a life as many other organ transplantations do. A transplantation of a uterus help creates new life. It is a remarkable thing to be a part of.
"To look into someone’s eyes the second after you deliver their baby, a baby they never thought they would be able to have, and see the happiness and love is something that you never forget. It changes your life."
- What were some of your thoughts or feelings after learning you were nominated for the Outlive Yourself Awards?
I was very honored to be nominated for the Outlive Yourself Award. It is a testament that infertility is something that is important not only to the ones affected by it but to everyone. Most of our female patients who go through uterus transplantation are born without a uterus. They grow up being like everyone else and usually don’t know about their condition until they are teenagers. Then, all of a sudden, they are told that they are different. That they will never be able to carry a child and give birth to a baby. I am proud that our work is contributing to the knowledge on transplantation around the world and that we are able to help women, previously unable to have a baby, become mothers.
- What is one piece of advice you would give to someone on how they can "Outlive" themselves?
I think many people do not believe they can make a difference. But everyone can, you don’t have to be privileged, advantaged, or special to make a difference. Use your specific talent and invest your time and energy not in what is, but what can be.