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After her son dies of cancer, Pune woman gets gift of life in his twins through surrogate mother

After the death of Prathamesh, with a will of having her son back, Rajashree Patil contacted the Germany Semen Bank where Prathamesh had cryopreserved his semen. Semen cryopreservation is a procedure to preserve sperm cells. Semen can be used successfully indefinitely after cryopreservation.

pune Updated: Feb 15, 2018 11:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
cryopreserved semen,Prathamesh Patil,Germany
Semen cryopreservation (commonly called sperm banking) is a procedure to preserve sperm cells. Semen can be used successfully indefinitely after cryopreservation.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo/Representative Image)

The parents of a 27-year-old man, who died of a brain tumour in 2016, used his cryopreserved semen to have grandchildren through a surrogate pregnancy.

The preserved semen of Pune’s Prathamesh Patil was used to fertilise the eggs from a non-family anonymous donor with matching features and the embryo was then implanted in a close relative.

Semen cryopreservation, which is commonly called sperm banking, is a process of freezing sperm cells to preserve them so that they can be used in the future.

The woman, who is Prathamesh’s aunt, delivered twins on February 12.

Prathamesh’s mother Rajashree Patil said he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in 2013 in Germany, where he went to pursue his master’s degree in 2010 after graduating from Sinhgad College of Engineering, and also lost his sight during treatment.

“... health experts in Germany suggested Prathamesh to start chemotherapy and radiation. They also asked him to preserve his semen to avoid any negative circumstances post the treatment,” Rajashree said.

“... I brought him back to India and took him to a hospital in Mumbai where he was operated upon and things began to improve. However, in between, he got another convulsion and was detected with a recurring tumour. This time, he succumbed to the malignant tumour,” the private school teacher said.

Prathamesh had lost his speech and was bedridden before he died on September 3, 2016.

“My daughter stopped talking. I walked around with my son’s photo, kept it at the dinner table and served food. That’s when I thought, why not have some part of him that is ‘live’ and can be with us,” Rajashree was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

Rajashree contacted the sperm bank in Germany where Prathamesh had preserved his semen and she completed the formalities to bring it back. She then approached Sahyadri Hospitals for the in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure to “get her son back”.

“I am menopausal, so doctors ruled me out for the pregnancy. A married relative offered to be the surrogate mother and she handed over the twins to me the minute they were born,” the Indian Express quoted her as saying.

Rajashree has named them Prathamesh and Preesha or God’s gift, according to the Express.

Dr Supriya Puranik, head of the IVF department at Sahyadri Hospital, said Rajashree’s case was different than other women delivering babies through the artificial procedure.

“Being an IVF specialist, I am happy that science and new technologies are adding cheerful moments in people’s lives... But here, in this case, it was about a grief-stricken mother whose son was away for studies when he faced health issues,” Dr Puranik said.

“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 twin healthy babies,” she added.

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 00:05 IST