This medical miracle came about as a result of an acute medical emergency.
The couple, Jennifer, 34, and Brian Pearson, 37, really had no other choice at the time. For nine years they had tried several fertility procedures in their effort to have a baby of their own. Jennifer was going through in vitro fertilization. In this technique a woman is given hormone injections to increase egg production. The eggs then must be retrieved on a set day, usually just before a woman's body might start to release the eggs in ovulation. The eggs are fertilized in the lab with the partner's sperm, and then the embryos are transferred after three to five days to the woman's uterus.
March 28, 2002, was the day set for Jennifer's egg retrieval. It was also the day her husband was in an intensive care unit with a ruptured appendix. Sperm collection for the in vitro fertilization was not possible. Jennifer and Brian's hopes for a baby were temporarily dashed.
Two OHSU experts thought otherwise. After Battaglia consulted with Phillip Patton, M.D., who is also at University Fertility Consultants, offered to freeze Jennifer's eggs using a new method. He had never done this clinically, but he had been keeping up with the successful protocol for egg cryopreservation developed by Eleonora Porcu, M.D., at the University of Bologna in Italy, the lea
Contact: Christine Decker
Oregon Health & Science University