People Cry for Action after 2000 Eggs and Embryos Lost to Malfunction

As reported on WKBN

By Stan Boney

Published: March 26, 2018, 11:21 pm. Updated: March 26, 2018, 11:58 pm

They want a law regulating how eggs and embryos are stored after an accident at University Hospitals in Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown’s State Senator Joe Schiavoni heard suggestions Monday on how to make sure what happened at Cleveland’s University Hospitals doesn’t happen again. He met with people who lost eggs and embryos when the refrigeration system malfunctioned.

Schiavoni wants to work with them to try to craft a law regulating how eggs and embryos are stored.

When Sylwia Sierko was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was told to freeze her eggs if she wanted more kids.

“Last week, we found out they’re gone,” she said.

Sylwia and her husband, Paul, live in Mantua. They were part of the discussion in Cleveland on Monday to create laws regulating the storage of eggs and embryos after 2,000 were recently lost at University Hospitals.

“I cried. That’s what I did,” Sylwia said.”

Youngstown State Senator and candidate for Ohio governor Joe Schiavoni listened to their stories.

“It’s gut-wrenching. My heart goes out to all of you who have been affected by this,” he said.

Attorney Joe Peiffer had several suggestions. “If you have more than one embryo, you should store it in more than one tank,” Peiffer said.

He said a staff person should be on site at all times so if an alarm goes off, there’s someone there to answer the call.

To make sure laws are followed, someone with, say, the Ohio Department of Health should monitor the system.

“It doesn’t have laws, it has guidelines. It doesn’t have regulations, it has suggestions,” Peiffer said.

Alex Babel, of Cleveland, would like the law changed so he, too, could find out what happens if there’s a problem.

“They weren’t able to tell me what happened to our embryo, they would only tell my wife,” Babel said.

Rebecca Roche lost embryos as well.

“The only thing people can do — really do — at this point is grieve and try and help the batch of people so this never happens again,” she said.

Schiavoni asked if they signed a form describing what would happen if the embryos were jeopardized. No one could remember doing so because it was something they never thought would happen.


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If you or your family have been the victim of the embryo disaster at University Hospitals Fertility, please Contact the Fertility Lawyers at Peiffer Rosca Wolf for FREE Consultation by filling out our simple online Contact Form or by calling 216-589-9280.