Southwest Florida physician, Dr. Craig R. Sweet, a reproductive endocrinologist and medical director of Specialists in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, and several of his patients will be featured in the new independently produced television series “The Fertility Chase” on Saturday, May 15 from 8:30-9 am on WE tv, the Women’s Entertainment cable television network. The half-hour program produced by Exodus Productions will highlight the issue of embryo donation and the story of 44-year-old Kerry Lewis, a patient of Sweet’s and mother-to-be.
“As I approached the age of 44, I said to myself, ‘even though I’m still not married, I have a lot of love to give’ so I pursued having a child on my own,” says Lewis. “With a history of reproductive problems, I was devastated to learn from my previous physician that I would need a hysterectomy. I would never have a child of my own.”
After researching her options including adoption, Lewis, a nurse, was referred to Sweet where she learned more about embryo donation and surrogacy. Through a process called cryopreservation or embryo freezing, excess embryos resulting from in vitro fertilization are stored for future use. When genetic parents elect not to use remaining embryos, rather than destroy the embryos or donate them to science, they may chose to donate their embryos to infertile patients. An estimated 500,000 embryos are currently in cryopreservation in the United States.
Lewis chose to accept donated embryos and a surrogate. Christina Lynn, a friend and fellow nursing colleague of Lewis, offered to be her surrogate.
Less than two weeks after Sweet transferred the donated embryos into Lynn, Lewis received the news that she had been hoping for.
“It was amazing to learn that Christina was pregnant and I would soon be a mother,” says Lewis. “I’m grateful to Christina for carrying my child and to Dr. Sweet and the miracle of modern medicine. Embryo donation is truly a gift of life.”
Lewis recently moved from Port Charlotte to Stuart but will return “home” to participate in the upcoming birth of her daughter.
Specialists in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, P.A. is a reproductive endocrinology practice providing comprehensive and compassionate reproductive endocrine care including IVF, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), egg donation, embryo donation, gestational surrogacy, conventional surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation, cryopreservation of ovarian/testicular tissues, sex selection, gynecology, genetics, endocrinology as well as menopausal diagnostic and treatment services.
For more information, visit dreamababy.com or sweetfertility.com. Become a fan of Dr. Sweet on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. Become a fan of The Fertility Chase on Facebook.