September 22nd, 2009
07:52 PM ET

Fertility clinic to couple: You got the wrong embryos

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/09/22/wrong.embryo.family/art.savage.family.jpg caption="Sean and Carolyn Savage with daughter Mary Kate (now 18 months) and sons Ryan, left, and Andrew."]

Stephanie Smith
CNN Medical Producer

On a cold morning in February, 10 days after undergoing in vitro fertilization, Carolyn Savage lay in bed at her Ohio home waiting for the results of her pregnancy test.

Time was moving slowly. It was getting late and the call from the fertility clinic should have come by lunchtime.

"We were waiting and waiting and the call seemed like it would never come," Savage said.

Finally, around 4 p.m., Carolyn's husband, Sean, got the call at work.

"The doctor told me in one sentence, 'Carolyn is pregnant, but we transferred the wrong embryos,'" he said. "I didn't even know that could physically happen. It was a total shock, totally beyond the realm of possibility."

In a tragic mix-up, the Savages say the fertility clinic where Carolyn underwent in vitro fertilization implanted another couple's embryos into Carolyn's uterus.

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Filed under: Medical News • Stephanie Smith
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Annie Kate

    I admire these people for planning to do the right thing and give up the child to its biological parents. That will be exceedingly painful emotionally after carrying the baby full term – you get attached even if you can't see or feel the child. How it happened in a system where they probably triple check the matches to be sure this sort of thing doesn't happen escapes me. I hope Carolyn and John Savage find a willing surrogate and are able to add to their family the way they wanted to without anymore embryos being painted in the wrong woman.

    September 22, 2009 at 6:08 pm |