Hundreds of families are grappling with the devastating news that a freezer malfunction at an Ohio fertility clinic may have left eggs and embryos stored in one of two large freezers no longer viable for use.
On Thursday, officials with University Hospitals Fertility Clinic in Cleveland announced that an “unexpected temperature fluctuation” within the storage bank impacted several embryos. More than 2,000 frozen eggs and embryos were compromised, according to CNN.
“We have initiated an investigation to identify the cause of this event,” the clinic said in a statement. “We are bringing in independent experts to ensure we understand all aspects of this occurrence and do everything possible to address the situation.
“Right now, our patients come first. We are incredibly sorry this happened. We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns.”
For Christina Ellis, who had two embryos saved at the clinic, the incident means she may never be able to have another child. She has a 2-year-old daughter, Laceygale, from in vitro fertilization (IVF).
“It’s just a horrible feeling. In my heart, I’m like, ‘Those were my children. Those were babies-to-be.’ And I had such a hard time with the procedure in the first place because I was 36,” the grieving mom of one tells PEOPLE. “We thought,’ going to have her siblings, and that was our whole goal and now that’s just been crushed.”
She adds: “I just never thought this would happen. In a million years, I never thought that this would happen.”
Ellis, 39, suffered an ectopic pregnancy, which “destroyed” her fallopian tubes and left her unable to conceive. So, in 2014, she created four embryos and used one to have Laceygale. Another was unsuccessful and the final two have remained at the clinic for years.
Ellis says she hoped to have another …read more