Parents who lost embryos in Cleveland hospital malfunction hold memorial service

State News

CLEVELAND (WCMH) — An unusual memorial service was held in Ohio for people who lost eggs and embryos at University Hospital in Cleveland.

In March, a refrigerator holding over 4,000 eggs and embryos at University Hospitals over heated and every single potential child was lost. 

On Saturday, hopeful parents whose wishes of having children naturally have vanished gathered at the Woodville Cemetery in Middleburg Heights. They were all there to say goodbye to their eggs and embryos for the last time. 

Kate and Jeremy Plants, who can no longer have kids after losing five of their embryos in the malfunction, organized the memorial. 

“The only way I can equate it is like, you know, just losing any loved one,” said Jeremy Plants, a client of University Hospitals Fertility Clinic. 

“It still feels surreal. That’s part of the reason – with the memorial, just something to anchor ourselves onto to where we can start the closure process.”

“We’re here to honor the loss of our embryos and other people’s eggs which represented to us future children,” said Kate Plants. “And this is just somewhere where we can remember them and we can say, like, ‘you were here, you mattered.'”

On Friday afternoon, University Hospitals entered a motion with the court to have lawsuits filed against them dismissed, they write, because there were no expert opinions listed in the filings. 

An attorney representing 180 couples says the hospital likely wants patients to sue for malpractice since there are caps on the allowances and the statute of limitations is shorter. 

Kate and Jeremy Plants say this is just adding insult to injury. 

“I think they’re trying to make this go away. They’re just trying to pretend like this didn’t happen,” Kate said.

But UH’s actions aside, the couple says remembering their loss is what’s most important. 

“It’s breathtaking. It’s it feels really validating that they are you know they were as important to us as this beautiful memorial shows.”

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