Having lost unmarried child to brain tumour two years ago, city-based teacher takes help of surrogacy to bring him back. A grieving mum who wanted to be artificially inseminated with her dead son’s sperm now has twins.
The love of a mother for her child can make her do anything if only she is armed with enough determination and anever-say-die attitude.
In an unusual case a 49-year-old Pune-based teacher fought against all odds to ‘reincarnate’ her son whom she lost two years ago to cancer.
Aided by a 35-year-old surrogate mother, Rajashree Patil has managed to use her unmarried son’s stored sperm to facilitate the birth of twins —a girl and a boy. It is her way of ensuring proximity to a little bit of her son.
“I was carrying the soul of my son in me and was looking for a body to breathe it into. I am going to name the baby boy Prathamesh, after my departed son, and the baby girl Prisha, after my daughter. Doctors had preserved my son’s semen before they commenced cancer treatment to preempt any negative effects of the medicine used on him. Due to this I have been able to get my son back. Getting the semen into our custody was not easy and we faced a lot of hurdles. Money and time were serious issues but now I will take the responsibility of these infants,” Patil said.
Patil, a resident of Market Yard, faced lot of opposition from her in-laws as her son had been unmarried and she still wanted to keep his legacy alive.
She was, however, supported throughout her ordeal by her daughter Prisha who has taken responsibility of the twins along with her mother. Patil had wanted to conceive the children herself by being the surrogate mother but was not found medically fit by doctors.
“We screened Rajashree but she was found unfit to conceive. Fortunately Rajashree had full support from her parents and one of their relatives, a 35-year-old woman, agreed to shoulder the responsibility of being a surrogate mother. We were successful in the first attempt and the woman was able to conceive in June last year. She gave birth to twins, a girl and a boy on February 12, 2018,” said Dr Supriya Puranik, head of IVF department at Sahyadri Hospital.
Dr Puranik added,
“I am happy that through the development of science and new technology we are being able help people relive their moments of happiness. At hospitals, we often see a lot of emotions and happiness whenever a woman delivers a baby and we have come to share in their moments of joy. But in this case it was a griefstricken mother whose son was away for studies when he came down with the fatal disease and succumbed to it. We appreciate the kind of spirit she has shown throughout the process and congratulate her on having her son back in the form of these healthy twin babies.”
Patil’s son Prathamesh was a bright student who had completed his bachelor of engineering degree and had gone to Germany in 2010 to pursue a master’s degree.
Everything was going well with the Patil family until on a fateful day in February 2013 their son was diagnosed with brain tumour. Even as he completed his degree, Prathamesh was put through chemotherapy and radiation by doctors in Germany.
According to the protocol in that country the doctors had collected Prathamesh’s semen and stored it to take care of any adverse situation arising out of the aggressive cancer treatment.
In May 2013 the Patils brought Prathamesh back to India and took him to Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai, where he was treated and then operated for the tumour.
The family was happy after their son seemed to be recovering but their happiness did not last long. After two years, Prathamesh started complaining of symptoms typical of cancer like bloodied vision, loss of voice and weakness.
The critically ill Prathamesh was again taken to doctors in Mumbai and who confirmed a recurrence of the tumour on February 28, 2016.
The family did all they could and he was put on medication and treatment but he could not be saved. On September 3, 2016, Prathamesh breathed his last.
It was in May next year that Patil first thought of continuing her unmarried son’s legacy through the idea of surrogacy.