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Infertility Workers Who Braved Superstorm Sandy... Thanks!

a blog by Julie Monacelli, October 28, 2013

One year ago, Superstorm Sandy came through the eastern coast. I remember this very vividly since I was in the middle of my first ever IVF treatment and didn’t know if my own clinic would be open for retrieval. Sandy was expected to come straight through Western NY where I live, and many counties declared a state of emergency before she even hit. As a paramedic, I knew we would be busy at work. I also knew our first responder numbers would drop dramatically when local medics and firefighters were called to the harder hit areas of the State through the mutual aid plan. I was in a bind, do I stay and help or do I go have my eggs retrieved?

I was very selfish that day, and drove the two hours from home to my clinic through rain so hard we couldn't see the road. We had no business being out that day, but when you go through so much for a cycle it is hard to think logically. My clinic was open, and they all had a smile on their face.

This morning, as I was reading through the news, I found an article about NYU Fertility Clinic, in Manhattan, that saved their embryos when their basement flooded, cutting off fuel to the generators that were housing the growing embryos. Their staff hoisted diesel up eight flights of stairs to keep them going. Even though the generators kept the embryos safe, they could not risk attempting an egg retrieval, which is an extremely time sensitive procedure. Other clinics stepped forward, despite being competition for NYU, offering to provide the monitoring and egg retrievals the patients required. As a result, seven babies were born to the women and another six remain pregnant. Every woman had their cycle salvaged.

It’s a testament to the health care workers that put aside their own families that day to save those embryos, ensuring another family could be created. I thought I would give a shout out to all the fertility clinics that work tirelessly to make this happen for infertile women.

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