Stephanie was looking forward to starting a life with her fiancé, Cameron, when she got word that he had been in a terrible motorcycle accident and was not expected to survive. Stephanie immediately got on a plane so she could be by Cameron’s side. Three days later, he was declared brain dead.
“I had a hard time accepting it, and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to him,” Stephanie says. “Thinking about having a future without him, I regretted not having a family with him and not starting that sooner.”
Stephanie arranged for a doctor to extract sperm from Cameron and freeze it, in hopes that one day she could still fulfill her dream to have his child.
“Some people ask me, ‘Why not just fall in love with someone else eventually and have a family with them?’ and my answer is that, ‘It’s not the same. It’s not going to be a family with Cameron.’”
The Doctors send Stephanie to fertility specialist Dr. John Jain to find out more about the process she would need to go through to get pregnant when she is ready. Dr. Jain says he has experience helping others with posthumous reproduction.
“Whenever we’re working in these situations, I always make sure you’re at a point in the grieving process, in the healing process, where you’re ready for it,” he says. “It’s a big step.”
Dr. Jain explains that because Stephanie is 22 years old, her eggs should be at their healthiest for at least the next five to seven years, and he says that the frozen sperm will not expire.
“The one message I had for you today, Stephanie, was that you have time,” Dr. Jain says. “And after such a traumatic event in your life, you have to give your body and your mind and your soul time to heal. You’ll know when you’re ready, and when you’re ready for it, it will be here for you.”
Dr. Jain explains that he can take one sperm and put it into one egg and create an embryo, and because of Stephanie's age, there's a 65 percent chance she will become pregnant. He says that frozen sperm is good for decades, so she can take time to grieve and make the life-changing decision when she is ready. Dr. Jain says he would be happy to give Stephanie a free in vitro fertilization cycle when she is ready to make the decision, whenever that might be.