‘It’s devastating:’ Patients of UH fertility clinic learn of problem with embryo storage

VERMILION, Ohio-- Amber Michalak of Vermilion got the devastating news Friday morning.

“I got a letter in the mail yesterday, but I didn’t check it until this morning,” Michalak said.

She received a letter from University Hospitals that a disaster at its fertility clinic may have damaged more than 2,000 embryos and eggs. UH said the temperature of the tissue storage bank, where eggs and embryos are housed in liquid nitrogen, at Ahuja Medical Center unexpectedly fluctuated.

Amber and her husband have five embryos stored there.

“They told me there’s no way for them to tell if they are damaged or not until I unfreeze them. So, I’m staying hopeful until I decide I might need them and at that point, we will see,” Michalak said.

They started the process in April last year. She underwent two rounds of IVF until it took.

Now, she is 36 weeks pregnant with a baby girl.

“It’s devastating just thinking the amount of struggle that everyone has to go through. And most of it is not covered by insurance. We paid out of pocket. It’s very expensive,” Michalak said.

Meantime, there was increased security at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center Friday night.

UH is investigating whether mechanical or human error caused the freezer to malfunction

“I understand what all these other women are all going through. It’s hard,” Michalak said.

Continuing coverage of this story here