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ALS patient gives birth to baby boy

(Xinhua)  11:02, January 31, 2013  

Lu Yuanfang, who has spinal muscular atrophy, gives birth to a premature boy in Beijing, Jan. 30. The birth marked a medical first in China. The mother and the son remain in the hospital under close observation.  (Photo/CFP)

BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- A woman with Lou Gehrig's disease gave birth to a baby boy Wednesday morning at a hospital in Beijing.

The baby, born at 35 weeks, is in intensive care at the Aviation General Hospital in northern Beijing.

Although about two weeks premature, the baby's weight was normal at 2.85 kg, said hospital president Gao Guolan, who performed a Cesarean section for the new mother, Lyu Yuanfang.

Lyu, 31, has Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal, incurable neuromuscular disease that progresses rapidly.

She had to give birth via Cesarean section before 36 weeks of pregnancy in case her own health problems put the fetus at risk.

"The baby's birth marks a big success in our clinical research," said Gao.

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