A SOUTH Yorkshire couple are over the moon after the birth of their baby twins after pioneering treatment usually used to combat malnutrition at a South Yorkshire fertility clinic.
Stacy and James Bodle endured years of heartbreak as they tried to start a family due to an undetected medical condition known as ‘killer cells’ which caused Stacy to repeatedly miscarry.
But radical treatment at the Care Fertility Clinic in Nether Edge – which involved giving Stacy a high fat combination of egg yolks and soya oil – has finally overcome the problem, and earlier this year she gave birth to healthy twins Harry James and Libby Rose.
Proud mum Stacy said: “I honestly couldn’t be happier. We were trying for three years and we really did start to think this day would never come for us. There were so many awful times. To sit here now and see the pair of them staring back at me, well it’s difficult to describe how it makes you feel.”
Stacy first fell pregnant in 2007 after she and James decided to start a family, but she lost the baby within weeks. Tests showed she had polycystic ovaries and she was referred to an IVF clinic. After treatment, she became pregnant a second time, but miscarried again.
She said: “It was awful. We were so over the moon when the IVF worked, we felt so lucky. Then I lost the baby and I felt like my heart had been ripped out.”
After a second round of IVF Stacy fell pregnant for a third time with twins, but in February last year she suffered her third devastating miscarriage.
The 30-year-old, who runs a garden centre with her husband, said: “It was heartbreaking for both of us, I’d never seen my husband cry before in all the years we’ve been together.
“He had to try to be strong for me but it was just as hard for him. When you’ve been for the scans and you’ve seen the little heartbeats flickering away and then suddenly they’re gone, it’s so hard to take.
“All my friends were having babies and I just thought it was never going to happen for us. All I wanted was to have a family.”
Alarm bells rang when a friend mentioned a condition where a woman’s body can have too many of the so-called ‘natural killer cells’, which support the body’s immune system, thereby attacking a fertilised embryo and causing a miscarriage.
Worried Stacy contacted the Care clinic where tests showed she was suffering high levels of these natural killer cells, which caused her body to reject each embryo.
Doctors gave Stacy three doses of intralipids, a combination of natural fats made up from egg yolks and soya oils.
The treatment is usually given as a fast way of treating patients suffering with malnutrition.
It is believed she was the first in the region to undergo it in order to help with IVF.
Dr Adel Shaker, medical director at the clinic, said: “It’s basically just a lot of calories, but it has been found to help people with this problem.
“I have to admit I laughed out loud when it was first suggested to me – but then I saw it works.
“We are surmising that it removes the dangerous signals from the immune system. Research suggests that it can suppress the natural killer cells. Previous treatments for this condition are extremely complex and expensive and carry a degree of risk. This is quick and cheap and basically risk-free.”
The radical treatment, first pioneered in Chicago, is still in the research stages and is not currently widely available.