Cancer survivors sue fertility clinic after storage tank failure

The Ohio fertility clinic experienced a storage malfunction compromising more than 4,000 eggs and embryos.
7:43 | 04/04/18

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Cancer survivors sue fertility clinic after storage tank failure
Throughout my life my desire to have children has remained the single thing I've been unwaveringly sure of. These three breast cancer survivors sharing their dreams of motherhood. I always thought having a child was something god instilled in me years ago. Chemo therapy cancer treatment were put on hold to freeze their eggs at the university Ohio hospital in Cleveland. I risked my life because having a family was so important. But now the dreams of one day becoming biological mothers gone, their eggs were compromised as a result in a malfunction in the hospital's nitrogen storage tank. I'm here to announce lawsuits on behalf of three women who suffered a devastating loss because of the failure of others to protect the women's eggs which had been entrusted to them. They are just three of nearly 1,000 families affected by the hospital's break down. I have now lost all hopes of having biological children. In response to the press conference they told ABC news -- Making the choice to have my eggs frozen felt empowering, it offered a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Rachel's terrifying cancer discovery came just after her 38th birthday. As if cancer wasn't bad enough doctors warned chemo could cause damage to her over Aries and egg ovaries and eggs. I was faced with the decision to delay treatment or roll the dice and risk the potential of completely not being able to have children because of losing my egg reserve. She says her dreams of having children began slipping away. It's hard to put into words something I feel so deeply. I just have always felt it in my heart and just known so -- so surely that I wanted to be a mother. So she decides to freeze her eggs of a doctor in Pittsburgh where she lives recommended university hospital in Cleveland. It was an arduous process. You have to inject yourself with hormones daily, go to the doctors office almost daily to get blood drawn and ultrasounds done and all this testing. But ultimately it was a success. There were 19 eggs able to be retrieved. Believing her future are fertility was secure came a nightmare. I was notified of a situation at uh the following Friday after the incident, and when I read the letter it was just so cold and impersonal and it really felt like I'd been just punched. Devastating news of that malfunction. The story made national headlines. Heart break for so many couples. Two fertility failures. Outrageous mishap. 2,000 eggs were compromised, but later was double that damage 4,000 eggs and embryo were lost. What was your reaction? My first thought to the women, spouses, partners who were hoping and planning that these were going to be future children. My second thought went to the doctors and nurses and staff, it's a personal tragedy for them as well. The eggs and embryo were stored in a high tech tank filled with liquid nitrogen should have been automatically refilled as needed with an alarm sounding if the temperature rose but in a letter said the auto fill wasn't working and the alarm to alert if something was wrong was off. They had entrusted those eggs, two university hospitals for -- to university hospitals for safe keeping unfortunately their trust was betrayed. The question becomes why was their technical failure, was it something that could have been avoided, if the answer is yes they have potential legal problems on their hands. Daniel learned of the incident from her mother. My mom called and said she saw something on the news about an issue about a fertility clinic in Cleveland and I called the hot line number and immediately they answered and asked my name which I game them and then her voice cracked and asked what my birthday was and I gave her my birthday and she said my eggs were compromised. I hung up on her and was screaming and crying on the kitchen floor in shock. It was horrifying news for the 37-year-old who was diagnosed with breast cancer three years earlier who was told she needed life-saving chemotherapy. They told me I would definitely lose my fertility I told my doctor that wasn't an option because I couldn't be here without having a child. Shemmediately decided to freeze her eggs even though her doctor warned her delaying chemo is a huge risk. She stressed I might not be here to have a child if I didn't get started immediately but I told her it was so important to me I had to do everything in my power to make sure I could have that in my future one day. Like Rachael and Sarah she entrusted her future fertility to university hospitals in Cleveland. They were supposed to be wonderful with great statistics and outcomes. Doctors there extracted 33 of her eggs, 24 of them were viable. Then she started chemo. It was the most horrifying thing that anyone could possibly go through. But through it all the dream of auture baby. That was my focus and my future. I kept picturing the day I would hold her and look in her eyes. Then three years later, that devastating news that her eggs were compromised. I felt like I was going to die. I pretty much wanted to. Because I knew everything that I hoped and prayed for and looked forward to and had in my heart was destroyed. That's when she along with Rachael and Sarah eventually decided to go to famed women's right's attorney Gloria Allred. No amount of money is ever going to compensate these three brave cancer survivors for what they have been forced to endure. But, we want them to be able to fight back in order to make those who are responsible for the betrayal of their trust accountable. They were worth more than gold to me and should have been monitored as if they were gold and this is about justice. This is about making people aware and making an impact.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":54223395,"title":"Cancer survivors sue fertility clinic after storage tank failure","duration":"7:43","description":"The Ohio fertility clinic experienced a storage malfunction compromising more than 4,000 eggs and embryos. ","url":"/Nightline/video/cancer-survivors-sue-fertility-clinic-storage-tank-failure-54223395","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"default"}