Medical science has worked a miracle for a Pune-based woman. Her world had come crashing down when her son succumbed to cancer two years ago in Germany. But today she is overcome with happiness. For she became a grandmother to twins born via surrogacy methods using her son’s cryo-preserved semen.
Doctors at Pune’s Sahyadri Hospital performed the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure and fused Prathamesh Patil’s semen, extracted and preserved long before his death in Germany, with the eggs of a donor to form embryos. The embryos were then transferred into the womb of a surrogate mother, who gave birth to the twins – a boy and a girl – on Monday.
Prathamesh Patil’s mother Rajashree Patil said in 2010 her son had gone to Germany to pursue a master’s degree when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“The news was a shock to our family. Health experts in Germany suggested that Prathamesh start chemotherapy and radiation procedures. They also asked him to preserve his semen to avoid any negative effects on his body post-treatment,” she said. However, he suffered convulsions and also lost his vision, said Rajashree Patil, who teaches at a school in Pune.
Prathmesh was diagnosed with stage-four cancer, as informed by medical officers there. After that his family’s first effort was to bring him back to India from Germany. “ Prathamesh returned to India in 2013 where after prolonged treatment he succumbed to a malignant tumor in September 2016,” his mother said.
After his death, his mother, contacted the semen bank in Germany where Prathamesh Patil’s semen was cryo-preserved.
After completing the formalities, the semen was brought to India.
The mother then approached Sahyadri Hospital for an IVF procedure with the help of his son’s semen.
Supriya Puranik, the head of IVF, gynaecology and obstetrics department at the hospital, said she is happy that advancement in science and technology is bringing smile on people’s face.
On the flip side, India and more particularly Gujarat, is becoming a surrogacy hub due to the entire process costing one-fourth of what it would In the West, a socio-political climate in favor of promoting India as a surrogacy destination, presence of a large number of wiling surrogates and absence of government regulation. However genetic surrogacy is not allowed in India under the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill and Rules 2010. Under Clause 34 0f the draft bill “A surrogate mother shall not act as an oocyte donor for the couple or individual, as the case may be, seeking surrogacy. This implies that a surrogate mother has to undergo the more complicated and invasive procedure of Embryo Transfer (ET) rather than Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) even if her own eggs are available to carry forward the pregnancy.
“In hospitals, we often see a lot of emotional moments and happiness whenever a woman delivers a baby and we become a part of their joy,” she said.
“But in this case, it was about a grief-stricken mother whose son was away for studies when he faced health issues and later died,” said Puranik.
“We appreciate the kind of spirit she has shown in this entire process and we congratulate her for having her son back in the form of these healthy twin babies,” she added.