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Patient Stories

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Scott, Brigitte, and Nicholas Gross

How do you express in mere words having been able to experience a miracle? My husband and I are two lucky people who got to do just that.

We, like so many others, were unable to conceive. After six years of trying on our own, my gynecologist, Dr. Camacho, referred us to Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. Once we met with the doctors at Magee, we felt we finally had hope. Our dream of having a baby may really come true. After testing, procedures, and training, our attempt was made through in vitro fertilization (IVF). What an amazing experience. The doctors, nurses, embryologist, and office staff were so supportive and genuinely excited for you, even shared in your sorrow.

Our first IVF attempt was successful but I miscarried after 8 weeks. Simply devastating. A few weeks after our loss, we were lifted up by our family, friends, community, and staff of Magee, and made another IVF attempt. On March 7, 2011, I was implanted. On March 21, 2011, we were given the joyous news that I was pregnant. On Nov. 30, 2011, at 9:34 a.m., we welcomed our precious son.

There are no words to properly express our gratitude for the miracle that the staff of Magee, by the hand of God, were able to bless us with. We are eternally grateful.


Stacey, Jason, Evan, and Brandon Cobb

It would be difficult to find a woman more fiercely determined to be a mother than Stacey Cobb.

A few years ago, Stacey, then 25, was preparing for her wedding to Jason Cobb. Until, a routine gynecological exam changed everything. Stacey had cervical cancer and needed a radical hysterectomy. Her thoughts turned to the children she may or may not be able to have.

Stacey and Jason were fortunate to be in Pittsburgh with access to some of the most advanced research and treatment programs for women’s cancer and infertility. Stacey’s oncologist explained that in vitro fertilization (IVF) with frozen embryo transfer (FET) to a gestational surrogate may enable her to have her own biological children after cancer treatment. The success rate is more than 43 percent for women her age.

Determined to be a mother, Stacey initiated IVF a few weeks after her surgery. Eggs from Stacey were fertilized with sperm from Jason. Thirteen embryos resulted that were then frozen at Magee for future transfer to a surrogate.

Stacey and Jason pursued adoption as well as a surrogate pregnancy using their frozen embryos. In October 2007, while traveling to Moscow to adopt 18-month-old Evan, the Cobbs learned that the FET was successful. They were pregnant at last. Brandon was born in May 2008.

The Cobbs are grateful for the innovative research and care at Magee that halted Stacey’s cancer and preserved her fertility. Some call Stacey an inspiration, she prefers to be called “Evan’s and Brandon’s mom.”

Kara, Kent, and Colton Peterson

The only thing stronger than fear is hope. Hope and determination carried us through our fertility journey and hope prevailed. If you’re on this website and reading the patient stories, you are already going through one of the most difficult time periods of your life, or you know someone who is going through it. No one knows what it is like to travel this path unless you’ve been there. As the Center for Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology has helped our family, I feel the need to share our story to help others.

My husband and I wanted to start a family, and I always had a feeling it would be difficult to get pregnant. As time went by, we started going through the various rounds of testing. Finally it was determined that my husband has a condition called congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens, making our chances of conceiving naturally basically impossible. Our only option was for him to have surgery to see if his body was producing sperm. Thankfully, we found out that he was producing. This then started our journey with Magee’s Center for Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology.

With my husband’s rare condition, (which is responsible for 1-2% of all infertility in men) we not only had to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), but intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) as well. Not knowing what to expect, we had a very positive experience. After following the protocol ordered by our physician, 26 eggs were retrieved, 21 embryos fertilized, one transferred and nine months later, Colton Thomas Peterson was born at 8 lbs. 10 oz. on 8/19/13.

There simply are no words to describe our gratitude for what the physicians and staff have done for us at the center. We started our journey fearful and overwhelmed but once we met with the experts, our minds were put to ease. The staff treats you as a real person, not just a number. They share in your success, as well as your sorrows. The entire center is of a higher caliber. They are truly doing their part to give deserving parents a chance to have a family. The greatest gift of all is life, and we will be forever grateful for Colton’s life.