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I Saw You First!

​Amy Lee Shaw Ni, Senior Principal Embryologist, In-Vitro Fertilisation Laboratory (CARE), SGH

Ms Amy Lee joined the Centre for Assisted Reproduction (CARE) at SGH right after her graduation from Australia, but she left the service six years later due to family commitments. However, in the three years she stayed home, her passion for embryology never wavered, and in 2000, she returned to CARE and quickly found that the job was just as satisfying and fulfilling as she had remembered it.

Amy distinctly remembers a patient who visited CARE to seek IVF treatment and was unsuccessful on the first attempt. Subsequently, the patient was recruited into their pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) research project but unfortunately her genetic test of the embryos from her second IVF cycle revealed that she did not have normal embryos and was unable to go through an embryo transfer. She was devastated.

Seeing the patient in that state pained Amy. The patient was in a dilemma as to whether to go through another fresh IVF cycle or transfer the remaining frozen embryos from her first non-PGS cycle to another Fertility Centre. Amy managed to calm her down, explained the disadvantage of moving the embryos from one place to another and suggested that she should complete the frozen-thaw cycle at SGH.

The patient took a week to consider the suggestion, and every time she called for more information or reassurance, Amy would patiently offer her advice and moral support. Eventually she decided to complete the cycle. Amy personally thawed the embryos and performed the transfer to give the patient her moral support. Two weeks later, when she received a positive result on her pregnancy test, the patient hugged Amy with tears in her eyes. It was a joyful moment as she celebrated the beginning of motherhood.

“When our patients return to the Centre with their babies to show their appreciation, I will always tell the little one, ‘Hey, I saw you first!’ It brings me great joy to fulfill the dreams of couples to bear their own biological children, something they once felt impossible,” she said with a smile.