Paraplegic becomes father, offers hope to others

New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) A paraplegic patient who had given up hope of fathering a child found the happiness of becoming a parent after doctors at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) here successfully used in vitro fertilisation technology to fulfil the couple’s dream.

Usually caused by damage to the spinal cord, paraplegic patients generally experience complete paralysis of the lower half of the body including both legs.

After successfully helping Pradeep Singh and his wife Sunita Singh, the hospital is now set to offer such special fertility services to spinal injury victims on a regular basis, an official statement said.

“In our country, sexual health of spinal injury patients or their desire to have a family is often played down which is very unfortunate because they have the same desires and expectations as any other human being. At ISIC we closely observe such patients on a daily basis and we understand their special needs,” said H.S. Chhabra, spine surgeon at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.

“With this case, we have decided to start a regular and dedicated practice of offering fertility services to such patients at affordable costs. We are sure this will make a huge difference in the lives of many people,” Chhabra noted.

In this particular case, a team of doctors including Rachna Verma, a senior consultant gynaecologist, worked with the patient over a period of time to enable him and his wife to deliver a healthy baby boy.

The couple was married for three years, but despite the desire to have progeny, the condition of the husband made it impossible for them to have children in the normal course.

“Singh was injured in 1998 in a road accident and it was diagnosed as a C5 level injury. The injury to the patient’s lower spine and subsequent nerve damage meant that the wheelchair bound man would not be able to have children,” a statement from the hospital said.

After closely examining his case and condition, doctors at ISIC decided to help him with special fertility technology.

After repeated sittings and counselling sessions to help the patient, sperms were extracted and IVF technology was put to use.

The couple are now the parents of a healthy baby boy.

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