RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 23 After a devastating loss of their five month old son to a genetically linked disease, a North Carolina couple finds hope for a healthy baby through an innovative technology called Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD). Using embryo biopsy, PGD allows geneticists to screen for disorders such as Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and spinal muscular atrophy in the earliest stages of life.
Joanne and Blaine Reese of Macon, North Carolina were overjoyed when they gave birth to their first child - a son named Joseph. However, at only six weeks of age doctors discovered that Joseph was born with spinal muscular atrophy, a condition inherited from his parents. The Reese couple learned they are both carriers of the fatal disease and together share a 25% chance of having an affected child, a 50% chance of conceiving a carrier, and a 25% chance of delivering a perfectly healthy baby. Their doctor presented an idea that would significantly increase the odds for a non-affected child and they soon after sought the expertise of local infertility specialist Dr. Grace Couchman of Carolina Conceptions in Raleigh.
"I chose Dr. Couchman for her reputation and experience, but after our first visit when we all had tears in our eyes, I realized that she was also one of the most caring doctors I had every met. I cannot thank her and the team at Carolina Conceptions enough for giving us hope for a healthy family," says Joanne who now has two children; Haley is two and a half years old and Ross was born on November 23, 2009.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a technique used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF). The embryos created through IVF are biopsied to differentiate which are chromosomally normal. Only the unaffected embryos are used for transfer/conception. "It is always rewarding to help couples conceive, but to use PGD to ensure they have a healthy baby - one who may otherwise have suffered from a life-threatening genetic disorder - is particularly gratifying," says Dr. Couchman, who is a board certified infertility specialist that has been helping couples conceive for almost 20 years.
Dr. Couchman, along with Dr. Bill Meyer and Dr. John Park, make up Carolina Conceptions - the fastest growing fertility clinic in the Southeast. Visit www.carolinaconceptions.com.
SOURCE Carolina Conceptions