Dr. Kreiner Reflects on a Touching IVF Success Story
I attended a beautiful First Communion party for the cutest seven year old boy, Michael. We were dancing and feasting and making merry in celebration of this very special boy's religious achievement.
His mom, Sylvanna, made a speech that left not a dry eye in the catering hall. She told her story that most in the room were previously unaware of. Michael was the product of IVF, using her then dying husband's frozen sperm. She explained that one day her son Nicky came home from school crying for a baby brother. Unfortunately, Sylvanna's husband Kenny was undergoing yet another chemotherapy treatment for advanced colon cancer that had spread throughout his body, forcing him to be bedridden much of the time.
She told Kenny about Nicky's desire for a sibling, and his reaction was that Sylvanna was crazy to consider their son's plea. Aside from his inability to help raise a child, he thought he would not be able to contribute, as he no longer made any sperm. However, Sylvanna loved her son and her husband so much that she was determined to find a way to make this happen. Fortunately, Kenny had frozen sperm prior to his treatment when he was initially diagnosed and it was in storage at a sperm preservation bank. With no more than hopes and prayers, Sylvanna came to my office to ask if we could assist her in her attempt to grow her family despite her husband's illness.
The challenge was not just limited to the amount of preserved sperm available, but Sylvanna was past her 40th birthday and it was unclear how much time Kenny had left.
Her dad, a resident in Sicily came to support her during her IVF and implored me to do everything possible to make his daughter's dream of expanding her family a reality. To do so by any means other than using Kenny's sperm and her eggs was not a consideration for them.
Sylvanna stimulated well for her age and we retrieved eggs that were then fertilized with the cryopreserved sperm. Two weeks later, I called Sylvanna with the news that would change her life and eventually lead to this celebration that we were now enjoying.
Months after Michael was born, Kenny did pass away but not until he got to know his second son Michael who lives on in his father's memory, loved and supported by his dedicated mom, Sylvanna, his older brother Nicky, and a new family including her new husband and his two children.