In October 2003, Carmen Pack was taking a walk for ice cream with her children Alana, 7 and Troy, 10, when a drunk driver swerved across the road.
Carmen watched in horror as the car struck Alana and Troy. The driver, under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol, fled the scene and evaded police.
Alana was killed instantly. Troy died hours later at the hospital. The immense pain, trauma and loss for Carmen and Bob was devastating.
At times, they didn’t know how or if they could go on.
Carmen and Bob became news fixtures on both local and national news outlets. Their pain was broadcast for the world to see. Carmen couldn’t imagine her life without being a mother and without her beloved children.
They wanted justice. They also wanted to become parents again.
At age 44, Carmen knew this might not be easy. After taking a Follicle Stimulating Hormone test, she was told her FSH levels were too high indicating that she did not have many viable eggs left. This meant that natural conception, or a pregnancy from infertility treatment using her own eggs, would be very unlikely.
Carmen had always prided herself on strong fertility, and to hear this news was an additional unexpected devastation.
In order to carry a baby, an egg donor would be necessary. She would need to work with a fertility doctor to conceive again.
Carmen became a patient of Dr. Louis Weckstein at Reproductive Science Center. Dr. Weckstein took the time to explain all of her options and the couple decided to move ahead with an egg donor.
After looking through an egg donor database, Carmen hadn’t found someone that truly looked like her. Carmen was born in Peru and had spent her life as an American citizen, but none of the donors captured her Peruvian heritage.
Carmen’s journey took a positive turn when her niece, Pamela, offered to become her egg donor. Pamela lived in Peru and would need to stay in the United States to donate.
Hoping to ease the process after all Carmen and Bob had been through, Dr. Weckstein wrote a letter to the embassy in Peru requesting that Pamela come to the U.S.
Pamela was soon on a plane en route to California.
After testing and evaluation had been completed, Pamela was given approval to become an egg donor.
Together, Pamela and Carmen began taking fertility medication. Pamela’s medication stimulated her ovaries to help with a successful egg retrieval, while Carmen’s medication prepared her uterus for pregnancy.
Within three months, an egg retrieval with Pamela was completed. Eggs were then fertilized with Bob’s sperm, and two of the resulting embryos were transferred into Carmen’s womb.
Weeks later, Carmen learned the joyful news. She was the mother-to-be for two twin boys.
For the first time since the accident, she was happy.
A couple of months later, the trial for the drunk driving accident began. Carmen took the stand and testified against the woman who had killed her children.
She was strong, but the trial proved too stressful for her body to endure. Carmen tragically lost both boys in the fifth month of pregnancy.
“I was put on this earth to be a mother, and I missed that after my children were taken from me,” Carmen explains. “I knew I couldn’t give up until I was a mother again.”
Dr. Louis Weckstein shared similar sentiments. Upon hearing of Carmen’s loss, he spoke with her at the hospital.
“I told her we would start trying again as soon as medically possible, and we wouldn’t stop until we were successful,” Dr. Weckstein explains. “After the devastation they had been through, I wanted to give them hope.”
Using one of the remaining frozen embryos, Carmen tried one more time.
On May 29, 2006, Carmen’s dream came true with the birth of her daughter, Noelle.
Now age six, Carmen and Bob treasure every minute with Noelle. After heartache and tragedy, Noelle is now their shining light.
“She is what I dream of, a sweet little girl,” Carmen says. “She completely fulfills my emptiness. She makes me very happy and she is my world.”
Carmen is grateful for the experiences she had at RSC, and when she remembers the time she spent with Dr. Weckstein, she smiles.
“They made me feel like there was nothing else in the world more important than me,” she explains. “They answered all of my questions and I never felt rushed. When I called with more questions, I always received a prompt response. Everyone I worked with was extremely caring and professional. They were there for me when I needed them most.”