A woman who was given permission to have embryo screening treatment in a bid to save her son is carrying the UK’s first “designer baby”.

Julie Fletcher and husband Joe, from Moira, County Down, won the go-ahead earlier this year to begin treatment.

Their two-year-old son Joshua has a potentially fatal blood disorder.

Diamond Blackfan anaemia (DBA) can be treated by using stem cells from a sibling to stimulate his body to produce healthy red blood cells.

Dr Mohammed Taranissi, the director of the Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology Centre in London, who has treated the Fletchers, said it was “very early days”.

He said: “She tested positively for the pregnancy, but it has only been a few days, so we still have a long way to go.”

The couple were given the go-ahead in September to begin controversial embryo screening treatment which could save the life of their son.

It followed a decision in July by the UK’s fertility watchdog to relax the rules on the creation of so-called “designer babies” to help sick siblings.

More here.